The afternoon sun warmed me as I sat on the high school’s aluminum bleachers. My daughter practiced for her team’s track meet a month away. I watched her prepare.
While I observed, my thoughts traveled to 1 Corinthians 9 the place where Paul talks about running the race to win.
Obviously, to win each athlete must be in exceptional shape physically and mentally. They take no days off. They’re always working on something. And at last the continuous training makes winning possible.
My daughter anchors the 440 relay. Besides running she masters timing for the baton handoff. Every move is synchronized to prevent breaking stride.
Enough cannot be said about preparation. The baton exchange is critical. Repetition leads to the action becoming routine. This means going beyond conscious thought. The switch over becomes unconsciously natural.
As I watched my daughter perform with her team I saw the relation to what Paul wrote like I hadn’t before. If I intend to be a real competitor I must train myself spiritually not simply to run but to hold an expectation of winning.
This is my commission, my sacred trust, as a member of the team. I’m in this race to win.