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Photo: Enigma Sport

"Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."

Vince Lombardi

Two Roads

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1: 12-15

This passage brings out a stark contrast between choosing God’s way or following our own desires. One road leads to the crown of life and the other to death. The process for the first is: Trial – test – perseverance – crown. The second process is evil desire – temptation – sin – death. The choice is ours.

I always feel that sportspeople understand perseverance better than most. We have learned to keep going when our lungs and hamstrings are screaming at us to stop! We keep going to the finish line. I am writing this just after the English football play-offs; it is unbelievable how many of these games were decided in overtime. The team that persevered to the end won the prize.

I recently heard an interview with an athlete who said that some mornings he was tempted not to go to training. Then he thought, “John will be training today. David will be training today” and the temptation to stay in bed was resisted! Choosing God’s standards and God’s plan is not a once for all. It is something we need to do every day – several times a day, in fact. Today let us be determined to choose God’s way and to help others to make the same choice.

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