Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:25
Christine Caine in Run to Win talks about how winners keep their focus. They keep their focus on the finish line. This weekend I had the pleasure of cheering on my race team that did a relay in the Memphis in May Triathlon. We had the best time. In a relay triathlon, you have someone do the swimming, which then passes the chip to the biker, who then does a bike, and passes the chip to the runner. In this case, I am thinking about the sprint triathlon that my friend Lisa, who was the biker for a mixed gender team, was a part of. To her credit, she was sick during this event, but rose to the occasion and overcame her sickness. In a relay triathlon, many focuses have to happen. The first and the most important is the transition. The transition takes place when you pass the timing chip to the next person. If that focus is lost, you lose valuable seconds that can mean the race. Another focus is the race focus. You have to fight sometimes for your space when you are racing in a triathlon swim. If you are not looking and focusing on the buoy ahead, you can get off track. The biking focus is the same as the swim and the run, you have to keep your eyes on the road ahead to make sure you don’t get off track or lose you footing or even collide with another biker. A final focus is the gratification focus. You are enjoying the moment of the race and it’s part of the fun, it’s not a chore, but a pleasure to be active and enjoy the race.
In our believers marathon the above verse is a great example of godly focus we need in our lives. The first part of the verse talks about transition focus. We have to present ourselves as one approved. Lisa presented herself as she waited for her swimmer to put the race chip on her ankle. She watched and waited and when he finally came around the corner, she was ready for him. The whole thing lasted probably 3 seconds and she was off running her bike through the bike rack area and took off like a rocket as she mounted her bike. When we present ourselves to God as one approved that means our focus is on God and we are ready for any change that He may have for our lives. Transition focus brings about a dynamic godly way of living. It means we are ready for change and are even looking for it as Lisa was looking for her swimmer and as Lisa’s runner Billy was looking for Lisa.
Race focus comes into play while we are running our race. We are looking at other runners or bikers, and the track ahead. As Lisa raced, she kept her focus on two things, the other bikers, and the road ahead. It’s the same in our believers marathon, our focus is on people around us because people are an important part of our race. The above verse speaks of not being ashamed. We cannot be ashamed or our race because when we are to this point we know who we are in Christ. We can have a profound effect on people when we know whom we are and what we are to do. God wants us to be leaders in this life, not shrinking back in shame. Focus on the path ahead so that you know where you are going and don’t be ashamed of who you are.
The final focus is the gratification focus or enjoying the moment. Journaling your daily God sightings can be a way to focus on the enjoyment. I cannot speak for Lisa, but I would bet that she enjoyed the whole moment while she was on the bike and racing 13 miles to her runner Billy. While she was going around other bikers, hoping for a good finish to the race and enjoying being outdoors and in the sun. We have to have fun on our journey with God. Encouraging people along the race is very effective in changing lives. When I was on my bike a couple of years ago during my first and only relay triathlon, I would pass people on their bikes and tell them they were doing awesome. That made the race enjoyable and the moment priceless to me. In our believers marathon if we are rightly dividing the word of truth we are living it and sharing it. When you have a passion for something, you love it and enjoy it. Having a God sighting journal shows us how awesome God is in our lives.
Three focuses we need in our believer’s marathon are transition focus, race focus, and gratification focus. When we have this focus on God in our lives we can see the finish line, and we can encourage and enjoy the journey as is it should be enjoyed. Gratitude comes in the end when our passion gives us that gratitude and joy in seeing lives change. When that happens we can give all the glory to God because after all, is that not what our purpose is on this planet?
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.