Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. [1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV]
I am not a self-disciplined person. There, I’ve said it! I am a strong person, but not nearly as self-disciplined as I should be. I love to write—adore words and anything related to words—and so I allow words and writing to distract me from the other aspects of my life. I don’t clean my house nearly as often or as well as I probably should. I don’t eat as healthfully as I would like to. OK. That’s enough. I’m sure you get my point!
I point out my shortcomings to illustrate that I am not as I would like to be, nor am I as I ‘should’ be in many aspects of my life. When we are not disciplined in one or more aspects of our lives, I think all aspects of our lives are impacted. So these words really resonate with me. I also don’t spend nearly enough time in scripture or in prayer. I am not intentional enough about my walk.
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. [Deuteronomy 10:12 NIV]
I know full well what the Lord my God requires of me! Without some degree of self-discipline I am not able to live up to His expectations. I must say that when I begin my day with time in the Word, prayer or even just quiet time, resting in God, I have a much greater degree of self-discipline in the rest of my day, through each part of my day.
This may not be news to anyone, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you, like me, need to be reminded to run not the race all runners run, not for the prize that will not last, but rather the race for the prize that will last forever.
Now I’m going to clean at least one room in my house!