October 23

Sunday

 

Run in such a way that you may win. —I Corinthians 9:24 (NAS)

 

When Canada’s Donovan Bailey ran the one-hundred meter sprint in 9.84 seconds, he was acclaimed as the world’s fastest man.

 

According to an article in the sports section of our daily paper, however, it almost didn’t happen. With so many wins under his belt, Bailey had become overly confident, and before the big race he confessed he found it difficult to accept coaching and apply himself to the rigorous training such a challenge required. But he won the race, and dozens of experts analyzed the race tapes in order to ascertain his secret. The consensus? He was still accelerating when he crossed the finish line.

 

I have already covered well over half the miles in the “race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Sprinting is out of the question. Jogging is risky. Even a good brisk walk leaves me puffing. Today when someone asked me to serve in junior church, I felt the inclination to rest on past laurels and say, “I’ve done my share and more. Let the younger people do it now.” And when I was encouraged to pursue an in-depth Bible study, there I was tempted to say, “That sounds like too much work. At my stage of the game I just want to enjoy life.”

 

But like Bailey’s coach, my Coach won’t allow me to coast. Growing older means I have more time and resources than ever before with which to exercise the gifts God has given me. Instead of slowing down, I want to be accelerating when I cross the finish line.

 

God, give me opportunities equal to my strength, and strength equal to my opportunities.Alma Barkman

 

Copyright © 2005 by Guideposts, Carmel, NY 10512. To reprint, contact Rights & Permissions, Guideposts, 16 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016. You can order your own copy by going to: http://shopguideposts.com/product.asp?3=177