“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Gigi Marvin and I’m training for the everlasting crown mentioned in 1 Corinthians. This crown, or prize, is the gift that God has given to all: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus came to Earth, died for our sins, and then conquered death by rising to life. He did this so that we can have everlasting life through Him. Therefore, the prize that we all can have is this God given gift of a new life, free from sin and filled with love, joy, and peace.
Why would I need to train daily for this prize if I already accepted Christ into my life and therefore received the prize? Well, let’s draw an example from my life in athletics: Say today I was told that I’m guaranteed a spot on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team. I’m on the team regardless of what happens in the next 5 months. I’m a certified, 100% lock. Does having my ticket stamped to Sochi mean that I should pick and choose when/how often I workout? Does making the team give me the breathing room to neglect my teammates and staff by skipping team meetings? Does a non-reversable, 100% guarantee, mean it’s okay for me to do the least possible amount in every area of our Team First mantra?
Knowing that I’m going to compete in the Olympics shouldn’t result in this self-righteous/complacent/menu-picking/under-reaching attitude. This same concept holds true with my faith. Just because I’m promised salvation doesn’t mean I should go without reading the Bible, praying, or fellowshipping with others. Someone once told me, “Just because you’re going to heaven doesn’t mean you should live like hell to get there.”
One of our team’s favorite quotes is “The Olympics aren’t every four years, they’re every day.” Every day we look to become better in all areas of our game; whether it’s nutrition, strength and conditioning, mental training, or team systems. We don’t expect to show up in Sochi and have a gold medal handed to us. We know that there is work to be done. We embrace it. We attack every day with our eyes focused on the prize.
Every day I will be training “to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Cor 9:25). My goal is to know Christ more and be more like Him. Through daily spiritual workouts (studying the Bible, praying, fellowshipping with others, etc), I pray that my spiritual muscles grow stronger. I pray that my heart develops the characteristics like those of Jesus’ heart: kind, compassionate, selfless, serving, humble, forgiving, encouraging, generous, faithful, loving, the list goes on and on. As it says in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Competitor’s Creed:
“Let the competition begin,
Let the glory be God’s.”
Strength in Christ.