I think a lot when out running. It is a rich time of free thinking, planning, and praying. Just yesterday, I was thinking of world class athletes. In case you're confused, I am not one. No really, I was thinking how they use the best training facilities, eat the healthiest food, have the best medical care, and in general have the best training gear. They are endowed with special physical and emotional attributes that qualify them as world class. They excel in this atmosphere. They should.
Not to be prideful in any way, but I would like to think you and I are world class in our own small part of the world. We don't have the best training facilities, or eat the healthiest food. We don't have access to world class medical care or own the best quality gear. Most of us have not been endowed with special physical or emotional strengths. Yet, we work and never lose hope that what we are doing is meaningful and much needed in our world. We seek to excel at our work. We should.
Here is the reason why I believe we can be world class for Jesus! This sidewalk represents our life in general. I encounter uneven places like this while out running. Life isn't perfect, smooth, or living friendly. Running on surfaces like this require more attention to each footfall. Heaved cement beckons the toe to catch it and propel the runner face forward. So, we work harder and focus more energy toward our running (call to minister and love). When we 'fail' forward, we assess the damage, get up, and resume the run (call to minister and love).
We navigate through life and have been endowed with God given gifts that lend to effective ministry with the world. Do we match up to the 'Billy Grahams' or 'Luis Palaus' of the world. Probably not. But all things being equal in ministry, what we offer to our part of the world should be the best we have at the present time. It is always enough because God is always enough.
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:1-9, NIV)
The apostle Paul encouraged the church in Galatia to love without condition and warned them to not think too highly of themselves. He kept the focus always on Jesus Christ and in so doing pointed ordinary women and men toward their work in ministry. Galatians worked for Christ and so can we.
Be world class for Jesus today. The world is counting on us to remain faithful and to stay the course.