I am not sure if you have been into the Olympics these past two weeks as much as I have. I took holidays to watch them fulltime, watching from early in the morning until the last hours. I did it because I love to watch dedicated people put all their training on the line in a single event of testing.
In reality we all do this – regularly, throughout our whole lives. Usually it is without any fanfare and often we don’t even realize we are being tested. Yet we are.
In the Olympics they only take the best of the best to test whether all the training has been meaningful, or whether they have just been ineffectively using time. But, unlike the Olympics, all Christians are in training – continually.
Too many don’t realize that for Christians the church is the place they go regularly to train, resulting in training which is not very rigorous. They show up to talk to their friends, day dream through the message, and then move onto another week of the same of old stuff – or so they think. In reality, once they are out in the real world they are put to the test, often unknowingly; and so they often fail without very much concern. These tests go unnoticed because these are little tests, ones where it seems no one is apparently watching.
In reality we are all prepping for an Ethics Olympics all the time, and only those who have been carefully training will pass. For many people, they are left flatfooted when the test comes, wondering where it went so wrong.
As we read through the history of the Israelites in the Old Testament it can be baffling how they continually made the same mistakes over and over, and yet the Church of today is no different. The arrogance of many Christians, including its pastors, is the same as the “faithful” in The Old Testament. They remain confident that they have a handle on how God works, feeling they have a tight relationship with him; but just as then, a time comes when this arrogance will end with the rug being pulled out from under them. I have seen it too many times, as have many of you, and yet so many still refuse to change their training regimen.
When Paul talked about being in a race, he was talking to everyone who calls themselves a Christian, and not just those who are focused on it. He was also talking to all those who think they are on the sidelines.
And in time, ready or not, the big test day comes when we will be required to fight through the pain – to overcome. The fact is we are all in some sort of a test right now.
Will you be one of the victors or just another stat?
The decision will rest is how serious you have been taking your training.