The Games athletes are beginning their “race” today. They are likely experiencing a number of emotions, and these emotions will certainly fluctuate throughout the weekend. Of all the emotions an athlete can experience, joy is specified in today’s passage. An athlete’s joy is compared to the rising of the sun. What do these two have in common?
Both the sun, and an athlete, have a job to do. They each have opportunity to be seen by witnesses. What is certainly true about the sun, and likely true in great athletes, is they will do this job with great joy no matter the size of the crowd of witnesses.
What is the sun’s job? “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.” When the sun rises, it has great joy because it is doing what it was designed to do. A great athlete shares this same joy when they have opportunity to run their race. They are doing what they were designed to do. No matter who else witnesses their efforts, they are in their element. But, what is the job they were designed to do? Isn’t it the same as the sun?
We pray these great athletes experience the joy they were created for – to proclaim the glory of God!
1. Why do you compete, or train?
2. How could an athlete’s efforts change depending on who is watching?
3. If your efforts differ due to the crowd, what does this tell you about your motivation?
4. How can you display the glory of God when you compete, or train?