“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So, run to win!” 1 Corinthians 9:24
Who would have ever thought that at 41, Tom Brady would still be playing football, much less still winning Super Bowls? Just to play competitively in the NFL is quite an accomplishment, but to still be playing after nineteen years is unheard of. Brady’s goal is to play until he’s at least 45, and he believes that as long as he sticks to his plan, he’ll be able to do just that. So, what exactly is Brady’s “plan.”
Driven by the desire to win, Brady knows that in order to be a consistent winner he has to “take care of himself” as he calls it, which he approaches holistically. He believes that he must take care of himself both physically and mentally which includes a variety of both physical and mental conditioning along with regimented nutrition all year long. Those close to Brady will tell you that he’s a stickler when it comes to all of the above and it’s obvious to the world that “taking care of himself” has worked.
Paul encourages us as believers to take care of ourselves too by not allowing our flesh to have mastery over us. In his analogy, Paul asks if an athlete runs to win a prize that fades away, how much more should we as believers run to win eternal rewards? Truth is, there are all kinds of things that are after our focus, but as believers we should keep our focus on “the prize” and not be pulled away or distracted.
Today, let’s remind ourselves to stay laser-focused on the assignments Jesus has for us, knowing that “The Prize” awaits.