Cathy Rigby was a member of the United States Women’s Gymnastics team in the Olympics in Munich, Germany in 1972. Many remember the tragedy caused by terrorists at the Olympics that year. No one remembers Cathy for her one and only desire that year - to win a gold medal.
She trained hard and did very well. But she did not win the gold medal. After her event, she sought out her mother. Weeping uncontrollably, she threw her arms around her and said, “I’m sorry, but I did my best.”
“We know that you did, and God knows that you did,” replied her mother. She then added, “Doing your best is much better than being recognized for being the best.”
Winning an event in track and field, or any other athletic contest requires three things: purpose, determination, and dedication. If an athlete lacks any of the three, victory is doomed.
Paul describes training for and winning a race as a way to illustrate how the Christian life demands the same characteristics that are necessary for an athlete to “win the gold:” self-denial and a grueling training program. As Christians, we are running toward our reward, which we will receive when we arrive in heaven. If we want to “win the race” and receive the prize that God offers us, we must sacrifice the things in life that keep us from placing Him first in our lives.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we all want to “win the prize” You have waiting for us. Give us the courage and willingness to discipline ourselves and become victorious. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27