Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lent 2010, Day 12

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither. Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary. But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit]. I Corinthians 9:24-27 Amplified Bible
As the Winter Olympics wind down, we learn of new athletes and their struggles for medals. We cheer their victories and feel sorrow for those who didn't quite make it to the winners circle.

No doubt, St. Paul was thinking along similar lines when he penned the verses above. In those days, the winner received a crown of laurel leaves, today the prize is a gold medal and, possibly, money from advertising contracts. But even the best Olympic prize pales in comparison to the gift of God's grace.

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