There are many things that need to come together if you want to be a great sportsperson or explorer. You need the right physique for their sphere; the chances that a shortish, skinny guy like me will ever be an international star in a rugby scrum are fairly remote! You need the right skill-set and knowledge. But having the right physique, skill-set and knowledge is not enough, you need to have the right mind-set too. This covers a whole lot of aspects such as commitment, determination, a positive outlook and the ability to keep going in face of setbacks and criticism.
Listening to interviews with those who succeed in this area, there is often talk of visualization. This is often to do with picturing in your imagination your succeeding; crossing the finishing line, lifting the trophy or reaching the pole or mountain top. It’s amazing how this simple sounding tool can make a difference. I know that when I’m out running, picturing myself making a good time or getting to the end, can help keep the pace up and manage when I’m flagging.
As Christians, this is something that we’re called to do as well. We’re called to live our lives like athletes determined to live it as well as we can for God. Paul calls us in 1 Cor. 9:24 to, ‘…Run in such a way as to get the prize.’ The writer to the Hebrews encourages us that we can do this as Jesus has gone before us and shown it can be done, ‘…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…’ Hebrews 12:1-2.
We were thinking about this at the mid-week Bible Study this week, considering what it means to live a life of faith. One of the questions challenged us to consider how much of the way we live is determined by the culture of those around us and how much is shaped by our understanding of what God has promised in the Bible. The morning sermon series at the moment is looking at the unfolding story of The Father’s Heart for creation and his promise to put right that which has been spoilt. The Bible tells us that we have a secure position before God through Jesus. We have been adopted as his children and eternal life, our citizenship in his Kingdom, is certain. I wonder, what difference would it make if we were to visualize this destiny on our lives in the here and now as we live out this life for him?
Church Newsletter, 05.05.13