“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” (1 Corinthians 9.24 NIV).
When I was training for MMA, I got hit on the ridge of my nose; which caused a nice, blue bump to appear right wear my sunglasses rest. The next time I sparred, I was scared to get hit in the face because of my injury. My trainers were not happy that I kept flinching and turning away. In order to remedy my fear, they had my sparring partner punch me twenty times in the face. Flash forward to a month later when I was “rolling” (doing floor work or Jiu-Jitsu) with a friend of mine who volunteered to be my “body” (a person who allows you to practice floor technique on her). My hands slipped out of my grip, and I landed a hit to her face – right on the ridge of her nose. Instantly, she got a hematoma that swelled and turned blue. I waited for her reaction. I knew it had hurt because I received the exact injury. However, instead of allowing the pain to cause her to turn away or flinch, she used the injury as reason to keep going. She knew that training for a fight is painful, but it’s also exciting, exhilarating and challenging. She loved the thrill of it all, and a hit to the face was part of the adventure. After I saw her reaction, I had to eat a big slice of humble pie on camera. I said that God was showing me that I needed to fix my attitude. Life is an adventure, and we can’t allow the injuries along the way to stop us from going the distance. The bigger the battle, the bigger the bumps and bruises; and we need to take the hits and keep running strong. Nothing worth fighting for is ever easy.
God, I know that I’m going to take hits during my race toward eternity, but I want to take them with grace and confidence. I trust that You won’t let me experience any injury that will cause me to quit. I’m determined to be a strong warrior for You, and I won’t backdown from the challenges that You lay before me. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.