Good morning and may God shine his blessings upon you this day.
1 Corinthians 9:24 (MSG) – Larger reading: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win.”
STORY as told by Gary Smith:
Suffering from terminal spinal cancer at the age or 47, former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano spoke with a reporter earlier this year. He looked back on his life and told a story about himself as a 23-year-old coach of a small college team. “Why is winning so important to you?” the players asked Valvano.
“Because the final score defines you,” he said, “You lose, ergo, you’re a loser. You win, ergo, you’re a winner.”
“No,” the players insisted. “Participation is what matters. Trying your best, regardless of whether you win or lose — that’s what defines you.”
It took 24 more years of living. It took the coach bolting up from the mattress three or four times a night with his T-shirt soaked with sweat and his teeth rattling from the fever chill of chemotherapy and the terror of seeing himself die repeatedly in his dreams. It took all that for him to say it: “Those kids were right. It’s effort, not result. It’s trying. God, what a great human being I could have been if I’d had this awareness back then.”
Tonight’s BCS football game between Alabama and Georgia will declare the National Champions. For the winning team there will be a lot of celebration and joy, for the losing team not so much. I congratulate the winners and feel for the losers, even though I will have cheered and desired for my “favorite” team to win.
I just hope that it is a good game … no, a great game … and it doesn’t come down to a field goal. Regardless of who wins, what we will be watching are young athletes playing at their best. The offense and defense will have followed the discipline to learn the plays, to be at the top of their physical shape and to play hard … and hopefully, fair.
Winning or losing they all tried. And as Jimmy V discovered in the story above it is participating that really count. It simply boils down to what truthfully matters as you give it your best. As Paul shares in 1 Corinthians it is not winning or losing, but running to win, i.e. giving it your best effort. As long as we are doing our best, putting forth our best effort then we are fulfilling our calling from God. Don’t be satisfied with just getting through another day … finishing just another task. As my dad was fond of saying: “If it is worth doing … it is worth doing well!” Just do your best and leave the rest up to God.
Actually, I congratulate both teams for reaching that level of recognition and accomplishment … Just wait until next year – Go Gators!
“Do the best you can, with what you can, while you can, and success in inevitable.” ― Steve Maraboli
Lord, help each of us to give it our best in anything and everything that we attempt in this life. Amen
And the faith journey continues, Pastor Jim
Giving God the Glory
Now that we have renewed our baptismal vows … what now? Here’s a hint: Mark 2:11-13; Acts 8:26-27; and Romans 8:14 … but be prepared for we each will need to “Get ready to go!”