Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed watching the Olympics. You could always find me glued to the tv screen, mesmerized by the beauty in motion of young women competing in the floor exercise in artistic gymnastics. I loved the swimming events, so of course I vigorously and vocally cheered for every swimmer on Team USA.

As I got older, it was the strength and endurance of these athletes that became more impressive to me. They excelled in their sport, doing what no one else could. It was all so amazing.

This summer, the most intriguing aspect of the Olympics for me was hearing the back stories. What it took for these athletes to be able to compete on the world stage. As spectators, we see the competition—the big moment!—and that’s inspiring to watch.

But these world-class athletes didn’t earn the right to represent their country on big moments alone. For each and every one of them, there were countless thousands of untold little moments that led to their big day.


It required discipline, endurance and sacrifice to train the way they did, day after day on the practice field. Being pressed and transformed to excel.

The trajectory of their training was with purpose. Daily choices consistently followed through on, so they would be ready. Training every day for that day.

What a beautiful illustration for us, as believers.

This is what the apostle Paul was talking about when he said, “Run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize” (1 Corinthians 9:25-26).

The trajectory of our training comes through the consistent daily choices we make to:

  • Study God’s Word to let it train, prepare and equip us (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
  • Keep following through to build confidence and develop endurance (Hebrews 10:35-36).
  • Commit ourselves and our plans daily to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3).
  • Look for opportunities to do good and help others (Hebrews 13:16).

We need never stop learning and growing, and we will develop endurance as we trust Him to train us for serving Him in all areas of our lives.

How is God calling you to serve Him in your home, your neighborhood, your work, your church? That’s what it’s all about!

So do what you have been trained to do—and trust Him completely, knowing that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them (Romans 8:28).

Let’s run to win!

Let’s choose to sacrifice our comfort, our time, and (often) the approval of others to serve Him in a manner that is worthy of our calling.

We may never stand on a podium or receive a medal in this life, but the day will come when we will see our Lord and hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”