WINNING (A treatise on athletics, or running the spiritual race)

Starting with the greatest winner in history Jesus, who abandoned himself to the will of the Father for the cause of reclaiming mankind for God.  He who was never subject or prisoner to circumstance is THE victory because He let nothing stop Him from completing the task of winning.

So what is winning?

Winning happens before stepping on the court, always beckoning an individual beyond their perceived notions of ability or experience.  It strives for excellence, encouraging the hard work necessary to master the job at hand.  Drawing from the deep well of God’s strength, winning is born of the indomitable Spirit; a willingness to offer complete sacrifice of spirit, mind and physical body for the sake of attaining the goal or achieving the desired end.  Winning is in the heart and defined before the cumulative score ever appears on the board.

A true winner, because they are willing to take a hard look at where they are sitting right now, will set a bar of expectation for their skills and attitude that is higher than they can reach now.  Through hard work and dedication once that bar is reached, they will set a new bar that is once again, higher than they can reach.  Winning is the cumulative effect of multiple victories over internal or external adversaries.  When strung together they have the appearance of achievement.  Truly, winners are not born, they are made through perseverance, hard work and dedication!

The heart of a winner can hear the words of the risen Christ, who brings admonition to rise and walk unconcerned that the individual has been lame for 10 years.  A winner is not subject or prisoner to circumstance.  Winning is about whether one is going to rise and walk and take up their mat!  A winner does not fear failure in what they attempt to do and does not dwell on the errors made along the road because the winner has a heart to persist at reaching for the bar!

Winning is never achieved half heartedly, by the faint of heart, or those who will not abandon themselves to the goal.  Even as Christ laid down His life, a winner will hear the call to push themselves beyond the limits of their experience, beyond what they perceive is inside of themselves, and give of themselves sacrificially to attain a goal that is beyond their reach.  That is winning!

Most people are not aware of the things they can attain because most people are not willing to push themselves beyond their perceived limitations.  They come to a hard spot and they stop because it’s hard!  Winning is responding to the call to push yourself beyond that spot and finding out just how deep that well goes.  Winning is persistence in the things you know to do, without hesitation or reservation and without fear of failure…That’s a winner!

The hard truth is there are very few winners.  Even those who attain a better score does not necessarily mean that they are a winner.  It might just mean that they have more experience or talent than you, but persistence, and dedication to a heart of winning can defeat talent that doesn’t have a heart to win.

The greatest of all athletes and people in general have always had a bar over their head.  When they overcome that bar they set a new bar to overcome.  Over a period of time, the people they are surrounded by view this process as greatness.  They view them as winners.  Why?  Because the bar that they have set, and reset, and set again, is so far above the bar of the general public, that it appears as if greatness has taken place.  The dedication, persistence and hard work for the winner is just a reflection of an ever increasing bar; an assessment and reassessment the rest of the general public has not undertaken because its hard.

So what will we do to win?  Will we dedicate ourselves to the development of the skills and disciplines we’ve been shown, take them home to the heart and work them and rework them until we hit the bar?  And because it’s hard will we seek out the depths to the well of God’s strength in a dedication to excellence?  Will we choose to abandon ourselves…all fear…all senses of restraint, limitations and circumstance to achieve the goal?  Before we ever step on the court will we respond to the call from the wellspring of God and choose to be winners?

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.  1 Cor. 9:24

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