“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.” (1 Corinthians 9:25–26, ESV)
Every season, for the joy of the sport, athletes strive not merely to be excellent, but to be the best. They train and yearn for the momentary glory of being crowned the season's champion. Then a new season comes and they do it all over again.
I stand convicted. For the joy of the Lord, I often live a lax and purposeless life. For the crown that never fades, I sporadically exert self-control.
Let today be different. Let the joy of the Lord stir me up to a life worthy of him. Let the unfading crown of glory be my highest goal.
May the athletes learn from the people of God what zeal looks like.