Are you old enough to remember ABC’s Wide World of Sports? I love the catch-phrase: “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” It takes into account the human drama and intensity of athletics.
The word intense is often used in the idea of sports and life. I went online to the Encarta Dictionary and found the following definition:
Definition of Intense (from the Encarta Online Dictionary):
1. extreme: great, strong, or extreme in a way that can be felt
2. effortful or active: involving great effort or much activity
3. concentrated: narrowly focused or concentrated
4. passionate: feeling or showing strong and deeply felt emotions in a serious way
5. thrilling: extremely exciting or pleasing ( informal )
Sports give us that rush of adrenaline. They bring up a fire in our bellies. They excite us.
Can you say that about your Christian life? Is it “intense”? Does it give you a rush?
I think it should. Yet for most even their Christianity is a spectator-based event that cheers when we hear good things. I think we are meant to all be “in the game.”
I think of guys like Jeremiah who wanted to give in and couldn’t. (See Jeremiah 20:7-9) He was being mocked and threatened. He was ready to quit. But an intense passion was inside of him and he couldn’t quit.
I think of the fact that we have an adversary that is intense like a lion and we are called to be focused and resist him. (See 1 Peter 5:8-9)
I think of the call to train hard and give great effort. (See 1 Corinthians 9:24-27) [Note: not to earn salvation which is a gift; but to earn the prize, which is a reward for service?]
And the list could go on and on. Just like the intro to Wide World of Sports; just like the definition; Christianity should be intense and passionate. It involves risks and rewards. Your life should be thrilling!