Simone Biles is a 24 year old artistic gymnastic athlete who left the Tokyo Olympics due to a disease known as Twisties. She has to her credit 32 Olympic and World champion medals. Twisties are a mysterious phenomenon or a rare disease where the body does not cooperate, or the brain loses track when in the air performing an act. The gymnast who had trained, executed and perfected her acts, is unable to perform simple routine acts. Because of this, the gymnast could do extra twists or flips that are not needed. It could be dangerous that they could be injured. One statistics states that about 35 percent of elite athletes (One-third) experience mental illness at least for a season of time. The reason is that every move is scrutinized, pressure is severe and expectations from country citizens are high. Sadly, victors become victims.
Christian life is also compared to a race. The writer to Hebrews, provides four insights for our race. (Hebrews 12:1,2)
1) Cloud of witnesses: There are numerous saints of God who have gone before us. They are humans like us, who went through struggles, tribulations, temptations and even persecutions. Hence, as we run, we can also win as they have already achieved.
2) Lay aside: Every extra or unnecessary or nonessential thing must be dropped off. It could be extra flab, because of indiscipline. Attractive things that are legal but will slow us down in the race. Simplicity is a mark of a Christian disciple, sadly some are possessed with worldly possessions.
3) Sin: We are called to run on the highway of holiness. (Isaiah 35:8) Pride or trying to please the audience will not help in the race. Disobedience and stubbornness will disqualify us from the race.
4) Focus: Our only focus is the founder or author and finisher of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is not only our inspiration, strength, provider and protector. If focus turns towards self or the world, we will be like gymnasts who lose their balance.
Do I run the race with focus and commitment?