Don’t Disqualify Yourself

19 05 2014
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It’s difficult, at times, to do the things we should. It’s way too easy to let life get the better of us. I talked a little about that in a previous post. That’s been on my mind lately as I try to find the time to do the things that I want to (and should be) doing.

It’s so easy to find the excuse that our mind will pay attention to. “I’m so tired…I’ve worked all week.” “I’ll do it later…I’m too busy right now.” Then there’s my standby, “I don’t want to right now.” If we listen to ourself for very long we can be convinced to set anything aside with the intention to do it later. But for many of us later might not come. We become professionals at putting off the things we want to, need to, and should do. For me Drawing From The Well is one of those things. I can’t allow myself to play the excuse game and disqualify myself from the responsibility and privilege of writing what God has placed in me.

Paul put it this way, “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to 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 9:26-27 — NIV)” Disqualified? Paul? There’s no way that could happen! He makes it very clear, though, that it could happen if he doesn’t pay attention. He could disqualify himself even though he has done so many good things.

One of the things that I enjoy about martial arts is competing in tournaments. There are two different categories in every tournament — forms and sparring. Both of these categories take time and practice in order to compete effectively. The forms must be practiced over and over. One wrong step can mean not correctly completing the correct steps…resulting in disqualification. To spar effectively you have to work on multiple things. Your stamina and endurance is tested. The timing of attacks has to be polished. Your defensive reaction has to be honed. If any of these are off you risk losing the match. The practice it takes consumes time. That time can be spent doing many different things. But if I’m going to compete at the level I want to I have to invest that time. I can’t disqualify myself by giving into the excuses I feed (or try to feed) myself.

trophyIt’s no different in life. We constantly fight time, energy, and resource issues. There’s only so much that is available to us. Our focus must be on those things that God has laid out for us to accomplish. And we can’t ignore the training it takes to get there. The time we spend with God on a daily basis must be made a top priority if we are to remain in contention for the prize. We have to train our mind and body to listen to the Spirit rather than the other way around. It’s not easy. It will take our entire life to master. The reward, though, is beyond our wildest dreams. So…push yourself. Be like Paul and make your body your slave. Come on…get up. Don’t disqualify yourself. In the end the prize will be “…a crown that will last forever. (1 Corinthians 9:25 — NIV)”




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