I had a friend in college who had been a very good wrestler in high school, but at college his freshman year he stopped working out and started drinking lots of beer and gained a bunch of weight. When intramural wrestling came that winter he signed up and represented our fraternity house. He won a couple of matches then was pinned quickly in round three. After the match he was so angry that none of his friends could talk to him.
The next day I approached him and said, “So how you doing today?” He said, “Not quite as angry as last night but the fire is still burning.” So I asked him, “What are you going to do about that smoldering fire in your belly?” He told me, “I am not sure just yet.”
About a week later he approached me and said, “I know what I am going to do about that fire burning in my belly about losing that wrestling match.” I said, “Oh yeah, what are you going to do?” He said, “I am going to do 1,000 pushups and 1,000 sit-ups everyday for a year and next year I am going to pin that guy that beat me!”
Well every time I saw that kid after our conversation he was doing pushups and sit-ups. He broke those 1,000 pushups and 1,000 sit-ups into hours of the day and did between 70 and 100 every hour all day long for the next year. One year later he did pin that kid who had beat him and went on to win the first place t-shirt in intramurals.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 talks about runners running to win the perishable crown and how we should run to win the prize. It is not easy to be a champion in any sport at any level it takes real work! To be a Christian striving for the imperishable crown takes work also. Are you doing the equivalent of 1,000 pushups and 1,000 sit-ups in your daily walk with Christ?
Open your Bible and read one chapter a day. Discipline yourself that you must read one chapter a day before breakfast and or one chapter before bed at night. Personally, I started in Proverbs when I made my vow to read one chapter a day. If you are a brand new Christian you should go to Matthew after you read Proverbs and read the New Testament.
After you read one chapter think about what you just read. You will always have questions of why, how, where, when of the Bible. Let those questions lead you into prayer. Start with a quiet prayerful time of five minutes after you read your Bible.
My wrestling friend’s problem was he wanted to be a champion without the work it takes to be a champion. Once his opponent showed him his folly in thinking he got himself back on track to be the champion he really was.
Let me encourage you to be the Christian champion you were meant to be. The question is though are you ready to be that Christian champion striving for that imperishable crown with all the work that it takes?