The word Goal has a great importance now because of the FIFA World Cup taking place in São Paulo Brazil. In soccer the word goal means scoring a point by kicking the soccer ball and putting it in the goal post of the opponent team. It’s not easy as you have ten players and a goal keeper protecting the goal post to overcome to score a goal. You can score goal even by kicking ball into your own court but that will be a self goal and making the other team to score a point over you and you never want to do it as the team with maximum score wins the match. Therefore your aim is to make sure no ones scoring goal in your court and to achieve more goals in the opposite teams goal post. There are a set of rules on how to play football. If you don’t follow these rules and score goal the referee can disqualify your goal as you didn’t follow the rules.

It’s the same with almost all games. Each game have an objective and set of rules how to achieve it. If you follow the rules and achieve the objective more than your opponent or faster than your opponent or hit accurate on the target than your opponent you will win.

Athletics is a good sport and more easy to understand. Here unlike football, hockey, cricket you play alone. Your goal is to cover certain distance like 100 M, 200 M, 400 M, 800M, 1500 M, 3000 M, 5000 M, 10000 M and even 42.195 KM (Marathon) respectively in very short time or as fast as possible. You have opponents who race with you and to reach the goal fast and first wins the game. It’s very thrilling to watch the 100 M, 200 M and 400 M races as they dash much faster than the later events.

To run and win is not an easy task. It has a lot of preparations behind it. Nobody can in all of a sudden one day can come and run and win the competition but you need regular training and persistence behind it. I remember few months back when I first started to run, the day I thought of running I had great expectations that I was sure to run at least 2 miles without fail and to complete in a good time but as I started run I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile! Why? Because I hadn’t been practicing running, I couldn’t catch my breath as my endurance was low, my muscles started paining as it was not my regular routine. The next day I had terrible pain on my leg muscles but I did go for a walk then slowly slowly I started running shorter and smaller distances and I couldn’t feel the pain no longer as my body started adjusting to it and could run much further and faster than previously as I continued practicing.

But to become a proper athlete you need to focus and train more harder. You have to take a lot of care in your diet to get more strength and you need to run more and more distances much faster than your regular pace and also you need to do lots of exercises to strength your muscles. Again you have to be careful not to take any drugs to increase the stamina, focus your goal, and run regular and not to deviate from your track.

We heard about the events in the Men’s 100 metres at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea – called by one newspaper “the dirtiest race in history” – ended in controversy after Canada’s Ben Johnson defeated defending champion Carl Lewis from the United States with a world record time of 9.79s, topping his own record of 9.83s that he set at the Track & Field World Championships in Rome in 1987. Two days later, Johnson was stripped of his gold medal by the IOC when his post-race drug test indicated steroid use. His record time of 9.79 seconds was also erased. The gold medal for the 100 metres was awarded to Lewis, who ran 9.92s. See even though Ben Johnson won the race in record time he was disqualified because of the drug usage. In another event Shiny Wilson of India had some bitter memories, when she cut into the inner lane and was disqualified while very much in front of the field during the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul.

See it’s not about all the hard work and preparation but also about how you run determines your victory.

We all are in a race. It’s more like that of a marathon. Our race began when we were born to this world and ends with our death. Here unlike in a race track were only the first person to reach finish line wins here all who cross the finish line (Reach Heaven) wins and there are rewards to everyone who finishes the race. That’s why Apostle Paul said- “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13, 14 NIV)

As in any other race there are certain rules here. We should not stick to our past. We should leave everything of our past and look to what is ahead of us. This why in Hebrews 11 it’s said -“People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”(Hebrews 11:14-16 NIV).
See many of us had to suffer a lot for Christ. There are many who got persecuted and became martyrs for Christ. They were living in a comfortable world but when the love of Christ touched them they were made to get out off all the comfort zones of life and set to spread the Gospel of Jesus and many had to under go many persecutions and many became martyrs for Christ. When they were undergoing persecutions if they would have thought of what they had in world before they set off they might have gone back to those comfort zones but they were more strong for the love of Christ made them leave all those and they looked forward to the better kingdom of God- Heaven. And this is why God testifies God doesn’t feel ashamed to be called their God! Oh what a great honor it is!

But also remember in Luke 17:32 we see a warning “Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:32 NIV). We see in Genesis 19 the background behind it. The place where Lot and his family lived were very sinful that God decided to destroy those cities. God remembering Abraham remembered Lot and his family and God send his angels and asked them to leave everything behind and run for their lives. Lot and family with much difficulty set forth. The angels warned them never to look back. As they started to run for their lives, after a while Lot’s wife turned back to see what happened behind her and she turned into a Pillar of Salt! She’s is still there even today in Israel as a pillar of salt as a warning to everyone to obey God’s commandments fully. It’s true Lot and his family started running for their lives but when they reached the safe place Lot couldn’t find his wife because she didn’t obey the command not to look back and she became a pillar of salt. Therefore let’s be more cautious and lead our race of faith steadily without looking here and there and loosing tracks but looking forward to what is ahead of us and finish our races victoriously and earn our crowns as Apostle Paul said- “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7, 8 NIV).

“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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV)

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