The world is glued to LED, OLED, 4K and all sorts of Television screens to watch Football. Everyone has a favourite player and a favourite team. They root for it, pray for it and wish with all their heart that their team would lift the FIFA World Cup 2018.
I am fascinated with the way the players pass the ball, dodge the opponent and strike a goal. Sometimes I am amused by the antics of the players trying to dramatize their falls to influence the referee’s decision to declare a foul, penalty corner or a free kick.
In the midst of a high octane, combustible tempers of players and spectators, the referee must keep calm and cool, dodge the ball as well as the players, run up and down the court with every twist and turn of the ball and most importantly be the impartial judge.
He neither has the luxury of time nor total clarity and yet he must make up his mind in a split second and pronounce the verdict. The joy and satisfaction of billions of spectators rides on the shoulders of the referees.
When people can put their trust in human referees who are not perfect, why can’t people trust an all-righteous, holy and loving God?
Sport was a favourite metaphor of Paul to encourage believers to run the race of life. He compared our spiritual journey as a race, as a fight. As athletes, he exhorted us to be disciplined and train hard. He asked us to run in such a manner that we would win the prize. Not aimlessly.
He was acutely aware of getting disqualified on various grounds and wanted to be fit on all counts (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). He knew the challenges but also knew Jesus the victor who would give grace to win. Read Philippians 4:13; 2:12,13.
Enjoy the FIFA World Cup 2018.
But remember a cloud of witnesses are cheering us on to run the spiritual marathon organised by heaven and the Lord Himself is the referee (Hebrews 12:1). Only don’t get disqualified. God is waiting at the finish line; Jesus will help you and Holy Spirit will give you the strength to win the race.
Enjoy the SPIRITUAL MARATHON!
Dr. Samson Gandhi