Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8
I’m a confused person.
As an athlete, I train day in and day out to get better, to get faster, and to get stronger. As I start to get faster and stronger, quicker and better, I can see the fruit of my work-outs come to light in my races. I start to race better. I start to beat other runners. I’m no longer in the very back of the race; I’m now able to move up towards the middle and eventually the beginning!
As a musician, I practice between 30 minutes and an hour a day on each instrument I play – piano, baritone, and bass clarinet. I practice so I can get better than I was the day or week or even month before. I am able to play faster and more accurate. I hit more notes. I see myself getting better, and it’s the best feeling in the world when I accomplish something that I’ve been working towards for a whole semester!
And yet, even though I’m both a musician and an athlete, I find myself not getting any better at reading scripture or learning how to hear God’s voice above the noise of life. As a Christian of 13 years, I should be shocked at this! But, I’m not. Lately, the past few years, as I really started to mature in my faith, I realized that there was a direct correlation between having a daily devotion time to spend with my Lord and Savior and finding it easier and easier to call upon God when Satan was tempting me. When I would have my devotion time for 2 or 3 steady weeks, it was the best feeling in the world. Better even than winning a race or an award that give me earthly accolades.
I’ve heard so many stories about big shots – athletes, movie stars, and the like – saying that they felt like something was missing from their life. The reason? They didn’t know Jesus, and therefore they were lacking true hope – the hope of a life outside of their worldly ones. So many people adopt these stars as their idols or their role models, and it’s not wrong, but it’s sad. It’s sad that someone so lost can be a leader to others who are lost.
You see as Christians, we have the ultimate hope. We have the hope of Heaven to look forward to. In today’s reading, Paul is at the end of his life. He has “fought…the fight [and] run the race.” He is ready to die. He’s lived a full life as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. As one of the strongest voices for Jesus in all of the church’s history, Paul is the perfect role model for Christians. Paul was constantly looking forward to the time when he would get to spend the rest of eternity with Christ. This is my first year at college, and it has really challenged me to get my beliefs down right, and to solidify them before I truly go out into the world. I am starting to listen more to God’s voice, and am again learning how to fully trust him at all times. What about you? What are you doing this year to get closer to God? Are you a confused person? Are you striving to finish the race, to fight the good fight, and to ultimately have Jesus say to you, “well done my good and faithful servant”?
Prayer: Pray for the ability to get closer to God. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ who might be falling away from God and the church right now. Pray that you can reach out to those who do not claim God as their Lord and Savior. Lastly, pray that even if your words fall on deaf ears, that your actions will sow seeds in someone’s heart.