Welcome again to this week's word for the week. I want to make a point this week by using Olympic athletes as something for us to consider and compare. Some of the track and field athletes need endurance. Some of them need speed. The archery athletes need accuracy. The BMX and skateboarders need focus. The weightlifters need strength. Those who participate in gymnastics need a combination of strength, agility, accuracy, endurance, and focus. There is something that they all have in common no matter what type of athlete they are. They all need determination and so do you and I.
Let's be honest here. There are many people who want to succeed without putting in any effort. They look for great things to be easy and the reality is that is not the way God works. To whom much is given much is required. When you want God to do great things on your behalf you have to be determined. You have to be determined to see it done. You have to be determined to believe it's possible. You have to be determined in your faith. You have to be determined in your prayers. You don't get to simply name it and claim it. If that was the case then you would already have everything you ever wanted. You have to be determined.
There is enough negativity out there in this world. No matter what you may set out to do in life you can be sure that there is someone who says or thinks that it can't be done. To make matters worse, some who think it can be done just don't think you're the one that can do it. All of this can be discouraging if you let it be so. It's up to you to learn how to block out the naysayers and be determined with God. Just like those athletes have to tune things out to get to the Olympic level, you will need to do the same thing to reach the promises of God.
Athletes train past the point of pain so that they can be ready for whatever comes their way. You're going to have to be dialed in with your faith to realize you are in this to win this. Failure is not an option for you when you have the Lord on your side! You have to believe that God has not allowed you to get this far for nothing. You have to believe that He will finish the work He has begun in you. If one thousand people said no but God said yes it's up to you to lift up your eyes to hills from where your help comes from. Nobody else can do that for you. That is your role and responsibility. Too many people claim to be waiting on God when in reality He is waiting on them to get started.
Give this some thought for this week as we close. Are you willing to endure the race before you? Are you willing to run like Elijah before a horse and chariot just to see what God said? Can you be sure about what you're praying for before you actually pray? Can God trust you to stay the course and not be distracted? Will you strengthen yourself in the Lord if everyone else abandons you? Can you be flexible enough to navigate the obstacles in front of you? I'll give you a hint here. If you go back to the first paragraph you will realize these are the very things those athletes need for their success. It's also what you will need to win and see what God says. Don't be so willing to give up when everyday has taken you that much closer to the prize. You just might be a lot closer than what you think!
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you in His grace,
Bishop Carlos J. Lennon