While working out at my fitness center, I indirectly watched the ESPN program, “Training Days: Alabama Football.” It was fascinating to watch Head Coach, Nick Saban, develop his men. ESPN took you into everything from the orientation speech, to incoming freshman, to the back-room coach’s meetings. You watched grueling practices and exhausting drills. All for the glory of running out of a tunnel to the roar of 90,000 fans and playing football for a National Championship team. It was inspiring and challenging.

Possibly an athlete himself, the Apostle Paul writes,

“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades…I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition.”(1 Corinthians 9:24-26, The Message).

As a Jesus disciple, how much do you train? How much of your daily life is spent in training your heart, soul, body and spirit for God’s glory and His higher calling? Are you giving everything you’ve got? Paul said, “I’m running hard for the finish line.  I’m giving it everything I’ve got.  No sloppy living for me.”My favorite Pauline phrase is: “I’m staying alert and in top condition.”

What a challenge to the twenty-first century Christian. In our day of smart watches, smart phones, (oh, they’re the same thing), smart schedules and smart computers, are we being very smart?? I want to stay alert and in top condition for Christ and that takes training days. Everyday.

Running to win,


Steve Holt D.D. MA