By Roberto Ponce
As I was reading a newspaper this afternoon, I learned that Tony La Russa is retiring as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. La Russa, 67, has managed in major league baseball for thirty-three seasons. He retires a champion and leaves behind a legacy of success. One can argue that, upon winning the 2011 World Series for the Cardinals, La Russa has finished his race well.
Experts and trainers agree that finishing a race requires three ingredients: (1) motivation, (2) training, and (3) nutrition.
In previous blogs, I mentioned how life can be distracting at times. We have so many daily responsibilities and preoccupations that it is easy to get discouraged. As we run the race of life, we need to be motivated to overcome discouragement. If you are not motivated, you had better find it quickly! Trainers agree that in order to finish a long race such as marathon, being motivated is essential. So how do we go about staying motivated? I am not sure there is a formula for motivation. Today, I just want to suggest keeping the big picture in front of you. Ask yourself these questions: Why do I do what I do? Why am I in ministry? Dig deep. It is possible that just thinking about your calling in life will get you motivated. Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do anything in Christ who strengthens us.
As we exercise our bodies, we also need to exercise our souls. We need to pray continually so we can be strengthened. In 1 Corinthians 9:24–25, Paul calls us to train to win the race:
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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Let’s pray for strength and motivation so we can be victorious!
The human body needs a proper and balanced nutrition to get the energy it needs to run a race. Likewise, we need the proper spiritual nutrition to finish our spiritual race in life. Reading and studying the Bible helps to give you the balanced spiritual diet you need: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Paul also speaks of Scripture’s role in helping us to be motivated and to stay encouraged. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
As we run the race of life, we may not see our names written on headlines of national newspapers. Yet as Paul reminds us, we can find hope in the Word of God—a hope to see our name written, not in a newspaper, but in the Book of Life.
Roberto Ponce is Director of Communications at Global University. For more information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu.