Like me you've probably enjoyed all the excitement of the Olympics recently, though amongst all the skilful excellence I've appreciated in particular the occasional examples of true sportsmanship. (Oops! Sorry, I guess it should be 'sportspersonship' these days!) However, there was one incident that really saddened me. One of the teams had failed in their attempt to win a medal and the relevant pundit commented, 'What a pity, they've given their lives for this!' But what really concerned me wasn't the fact that they'd lost, but the thought that achievement in a sport, any sport, was worth giving one's life for!
THE PURSUIT OF SUCCESS
Of course this pundit's quote probably wasn't too far off the mark. Their commitment had to be virtually total, which may well have resembled 'giving one's life' in pursuit of an Olympic medal. But in a day when 'winning is everything' and 'belief in myself' seems to be an increasingly important pre-requisite in the quest for personal success, I began thinking about our lives and what we choose to do with them. With this in mind, who better to consult on the matter than our Maker, Almighty God, who says... of first importance...
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
THE PURSUIT OF FULFILMENT
But it goes without saying that we all have a natural desire to pursue happiness, comfort, contentment and satisfaction. In view of this we set our hearts on aspects of life that will hopefully help achieve these goals. Sadly however it's been said that we can make it our aim to climb the ladder of success, yet all too often on reaching the top, we find nothing there, or at least, nothing of true and lasting value. Alternatively, many consider becoming a follower of Jesus equivalent to kissing goodbye to our brains and bidding farewell to all pleasures of life, whereas the very opposite is true. The Lord Jesus Christ says...
'...I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.'
THE PURSUIT OF ACHIEVEMENT
Of course it's possible to waste our lives in various ways. But perhaps the saddest is to choose a good solid objective and give our very best to achieve this. It can even be a goal that's extremely worthwhile, such as a career in the caring professions, or simply to become a real authority on some vital aspect of life. But then to discover, as our own life draws to an end - and, if we've left God out of it - that we've chosen the wrong aim! In other words, the good can so easily become the enemy of the best! And the best is surely to get right with God and discover His plans for us...
'For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'
But perhaps we should leave the last word on this subject to an outstanding 'sportsperson' of an earlier generation, former England cricketer, CT Studd...
'If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too
great for me to make for Him.'
'Only one life, 't'will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last.'
Worth considering don't you think... and before it's too late to do anything about it?