Summary: Keep your eyes on the prize. The prize is Jesus the Christ. No matter how hard the road becomes, keep your eyes on Jesus the Christ.
Looking at the world of athletics, I see many young people training daily with dreams of becoming a professional athlete. Whether it’s in football, baseball, basketball, tennis, figure skating, boxing, or whatever the sport, they know that they must train diligently and must be consistent in keeping their eyes on the prize.
The trainers of these young athletes had many duties and responsibilities. The trainers spend hours upon hours drilling into the heads of these athletes’ words and phrases of encouragement that will help develop them mentally for the task at hand.
Some of the things spoken are, “You’re not weak but strong,” or “Only the strong survives the weak shall die,” “Mercy is only for the weak,” or “You’re made of steel and nothing can penetrate you. Such verbal cliché’s are used to motivate the athletes to strive for perfection and to give them the “mental edge.”
The astronauts that was lost in the space shuttle Challenger had to go through years of rigorous training. They had to make sure that their bodies were physically fit to stand the force of gravity pressing against their bodies as they were launched from the launching pad. In order for the space shuttle to break free from the earth’s pull, it must reach a speed of 12,500 miles an hour.
Looking at the mathematics side of it, it seems as if the space shuttle Challenger was traveling 5.5 times faster than a bullet shot from an RK-7 assault rifle. So I know the trainers of NASA had to diligently prepare the astronauts for the journey.
Another responsibility of the trainer is to also make sure that their athletes are eating proper foods and the proper amounts. They must consume the proper amount of carbohydrates daily to help sustain their strength during the training process.
I have to add a footnote here and smile because my wife always has me checking the calories on everything she’s buys because she says that she must lose all of this weight. I said baby if you keep going with this diet like you’re going, you’ll be so small that I will have to call 911 for missing persons. I need to be able to see you and feel you sometime.
A trainer must also make sure that their athletes are getting the proper rest. The human body needs rest. Even Jesus had to rest. If you look at Mark 6:31,32, Jesus was showing us how important rest is because He and his disciples and got on a boat to get away from the crowds. The man was tired and he needed rest. He had to “steal away for a little while.”
As a Missionary, you got to be fueled up for service. You can’t serve God if you’re dead tired. You must get rest.
If we look in Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV) it says “ By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” So we see it is appropriate to get rest.
We need to rest before our bodies make us rest. If you keep on going like a machine, not getting rest or the proper nourishment, either the hospital will be working on you or your Pastor will be preaching your funeral. You got to get rest.
Now if God tells you to do a task and you are tired, He will give you the strength that you need to do the job. But make sure that it’s His will and not yours.
When I did my initial sermon in October, I was preaching with a bad cold I thought. I went to work the next day sick as a dog. I was so sick that I wasn’t able to work an entire day. I called my wife and told her I was driving myself to the emergency room at the hospital.
The doctor examined me and told me it was a good thing that I came in when I did because I had the stage two of pneumonia. I said to my wife who was standing there, I’m sure am glad I was able to preach my initial sermon yesterday. The doctor turned and looks as if though to say, “ He didn’t do that.” My wife says to him “oh yes my husband did preach on yesterday. The doctor looked as though we were not telling the truth. Like the song writer wrote, “There is no secret what God can…what He did for others He will surely do for you.
God told me that if I had have known that I had pneumonia, I would have asked the Pastor to postpone it for another Sunday: but however, He wanted to show me just a small sample of what he was capable of if you are obedient and trust Him.