"He'll have to change his mindset for this race," the speed skating commentator said as another group prepared for a qualifying race. The young people in the Olympics are often described as envisioning their entire routine before they take to the ice or the slopes. They've been taught to picture themselves perfectly executing their routine, their race, their downhill run. If they can't picture it, they won't attain it.
To return to the sports world, for many years no one ran a mile in under 4 minutes. It was thought to be impossible, until someone did it (Roger Bannister). The bar was raised and runners began to think in terms of less than 4 minutes. We too can raise the bar of what we expect God to accomplish through our lives and in our world by putting on the mind of Christ and remembering that he can do more than we can ask or imagine
"Keep on keepin' on," is an old exhortation. I think it stems from St. Paul's words to the people in Philippi: "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12b-14).
As I watched some of the figure skating at the Olympics last night I heard one of the commentators say that the couple skating had practiced a particular move for years before putting it in the competition. How many times did they fall, do you think? At the end of one year of trying, did they want to give up? No. They ignored how many times they failed and pressed on, kept on, straining toward perfection, having in mind the Olympic gold, the prize which called to them.
For reflection: Jesus never gave up. Paul never gave up. Peter never gave up. What has God called you to do that you have not yet accomplished?
Let us pray. Jesus, I thank you for taking hold of me. I am pressing on to take hold of that for which you took hold of me. I am forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I am keeping on toward the goal you have set for me.
Now that the Olympics are upon us we are inspired by the Olympians' dedication to training and competing in their chosen sport. They train and compete for years in preparation for World Championships and Olympic gold. They maintain a proper diet, a tough mindset and practice, practice, practice.
Perhaps St. Paul was something of an athlete too because he used many sports metaphors in his letters. He wanted to encourage people to keep going on, moving forward, never giving up. Paul said, "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" (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
What type of training do God's people need in order to keep living the Christian life? Studying his word (the proper diet), praying (a tough mindset), and practice, practice, practice.
For reflection: Today let us feast on a word that leads to a proper mindset and takes a lot of practice. "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things" (Philippians 4:8).
Let us pray. For our prayer today, find in a quiet place, a comfortable position, and soak in the love of God.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.