[notice]A monthly Christian sport column by Cobus Kruger, a professional triathlete who is passionate about evangelism, leadership and community development through sport.[/notice]
I came out of the first leg, the swim in a triathlon race I did in Cape Town last week. It was a hard week of planning in ministry work in Stellenbosch, and as I went to the event I tried to get my head together so that I could race well, even though my body was tired.
I started well with the swim, but allowed the front group to pull away from me. As I climbed onto the bike, I climbed on with a negative mindset. I just wanted to finish the race before a bit of a break. As one or two athletes passed me, I just did not care. But I remember the moment, about 25km into the bike leg, when the third and fourth athletes passed me close to each other. This was the moment when I realised that I had the wrong wrong attitude in this race. I needed to finish strong.
I started to attack the hills and caught up with a few athletes that had passed me earlier. As I climbed off the bike and went into the run, I forced myself to run at a high pace through the beautiful vineyards of Cape Town. My legs started to feel the high effort of running, but there was one thing in my mind — I wanted to finish strong and positive for the glory of God. I could not catch the bunch that had pulled away in the swim, but the position that I would come did not bother me this time. I just wanted to finish strong for the glory of God.
2 Timothy 4:5-7 — I love the first part of this scripture. Paul is writing for Timothy these words … But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship …
We need to keep our head in all situations, and as we keep our heads we need to endure hardships . We do this for the sake of God’s kingdom.
There is a lesson that you can take out of the story of my triathlon race last weekend — it is the fact that I did not “keep my head” after the front swimmers pulled away from me in the beginning. And that there was a moment in this race when I allowed my situation to make me negative, and when I became negative I started to race negatively, and when I raced negatively without any goal I did not endure when people passed me. I did not endure the hardship that I needed to. I gave up.
But after the 25km mark in the race, I decided to finish strong. I decided to attack the hills. I decided to endure the pain and hardship that was in my legs so that I could race the best I could race, so that God could be glorified.
I want to encourage you all, brothers and sisters. Let’s finish strong this year. let’s love each other over this time with the love of God Himself through His Holy Spirit in Jesus. Let’s endure the hardships and all the situations that we might have around these times. Let’s stay obedient to God’s call to us, and let Jesus’ Love be more radiant through our attitude in our situations so that we can say at the end of this year: “We finished strong” and Jesus is glorified.
Have a blessed Christmas. May the joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be your strength this December and in the New Year.
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