Winning is a worthy goal in whatever you do in the pursuit of a life following Christ. Paul’s encouragement in scripture is that everyone runs in a race but only one gets the prize so we should “Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) Paul was a fan of the Olympic games. He made interesting correlations about how you live your life being similar to running a race, boxing, and competition in general. If one is going to compete, it should be to win.
The context of the verse above is in connection with his God given mission to carry the gospel message of Jesus beyond the Jews to the Gentiles. Like Paul, every Christian has the high calling of following Jesus.
To have a mission is to have a purpose. Lasting purpose begins with having a charge, calling, aim, or duty in life. It reminds me of a line in a hymn “A charge to keep have I.” Being successful begins with being clear about why you are on earth and what it is you are trying to accomplish during your lifetime. Everyone gets one and only one lifetime. Your “lifetime” is given one second at a time. Everyone, regardless of position, gets 168 hours in a week – no one gets more.
Once you are clear as to why you are here, you also have a better idea about where you are going. Then it logically follows that a roadmap or plan will be assembled. Once assembled you can live and act according to the plan. This map constitutes your plan to win.
How do you define success? How will success be measured? Will you measure success in dollars, personal achievements, number of acquaintances, age of retirement, possessions, or the length of our life? The answer to the question lies partially in the answer to the next question: What are you striving for? Do you strive for more money, more possessions, retirement at an early age, or success in your business? Whatever measure you presently use, will remain your measurement until you make a conscience decision to change the measurement. While reality takes time to change, perception can happen in an instant. Change your perception and reality often follows.
Success in life is not automatic. A man could conceivably live a long life without it being successful. As with most things more is not always better. In fact that is usually the case. For example, one meaningful and deeply penetrating song can do more then an entire day filled with meaningless random songs. Another example s: One word amply spoken can heal a soul.
In the same way, Success in life is not measured in the quantity of years that make up one’s life. Consider Jesus, upon whose life time itself turns. He was given the time he needed to finish his work on earth. Just as it was with Jesus who lived only 33 years on the earth, so I believe that you can have the confidence that you will be given the years needed to accomplish your purpose on earth. However, you must be about the business of living on purpose.
You can be assured that when you live according to the highest principles, you are living out your purpose. Solomon came to a great conclusion as to the question of what matters most on the earth. He, like us, was in search of fulfillment in life. After his great search, he concluded that to fear God and obey his commands was indeed the greatest thing a man can do. This is not to say that the pursuit of living intentionally is a simple matter. It is not.
Let me give you a friendly warning: The moment you begin to live with specific clear direction, you will discover both internal and external resistance and distractions. You must learn to push through what is urgent in order to get to what is important. Do not allow the tyranny of the urgent to hold hostage what is important. There are those times when what is urgent and important become one in the same and those times are good. Make more of those times! Discipline (force) your mind to think about why you are alive today and do that every single day.
So let’s ask about your life what you have most likely asked about a project, test or road trip. What is the desired end result? Where are you hoping to end up? And if you know the desired outcome, how will you know the way? In other words, what will serve as your compass? Which way will you head? What will guide you? Will you adjust your course by the stars or by every passing ship? What is important to you? For me I want to end life with a sweet spirit (able to laugh genuinely and love deeply and enjoy the life and work God has given to me), a wife who loves me and for my(our) children to love Jesus Christ and his Church. We want to enjoy our marriage and family. In the end we want good memories. We want to be faithful to the Lord. In this regard the Bible acts as our compass. We must constantly defer to it to correct, teach, rebuke and train us. All right that is enough preaching!
I have read that change happens twice. “Reality and perception are the two components necessary for successful change and change is mostly a perceptual issue. We tend to see things the same way until, quite suddenly, we don’t. The two parts of change require different approaches. Changing reality requires action. Changing perception requires thinking. Changing reality can take a long time. Changing perception can happen in an instant.” (“Quantum Leap Thinking Tip #77 Change Happens Twice” by James Mapes)
As you read this blog, what was one major thought that came to you about your life? Write it down, I’ll wait. Now think, pray about that. Your perception has changed. In order for your latest thought to become reality what do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start doing? What do you need to keep doing?
Enjoy your life…now!