This is not just true in athletics but also in academics, in our jobs, in our relationships, etc. The amount of one’s long term success is in direct correlation to one’s long term work ethic! You get out of it what you put into it…
(Please do not mistake the spiritual application here… I am going to draw reference now to rewards for believers’ works… but remember that salvation is not a reward but is instead a gift “by grace through faith.” [Ephesians 2:8-9] Our destination is not earned but there is reward [or lack thereof] once we arrive…)
As believers we are equipped and commanded to live in a way that Makes A Difference. (Colossians 2:6- 10) We are exhorted to make the most of our time and not to waste it! (Ephesians 5:15-21) We are told to study and prepare… etc. (2 Timothy 2:15) Yet many believers seem content to just go through the motions… maybe going to “practice” once a week but never really wanting to get engaged in “the game.” Or as my pastor recently pointed out… being more concerned with “building our castles than building God’s kingdom.”
I fear that many will stand before the “bema” (judgment seat) and not get to climb the podium for the medals… Oh they will be there because they were “in the game” based upon what Jesus did; but wasted the opportunity to be a difference maker!
“Players” that fail to put forth the effort remind me of a verse in Proverbs 11… Verse 22 says,
“As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is lovely woman that lacks discretion.” A wasted life!
Believer, Go MAD! (Make A Difference)