Posted by: everynation | August 28, 2008

What does it mean to be a champion?

by Walter Walker

In the social setting in which we live, a champion is almost always thought of as an athlete who has beaten all the contenders, won the prize, and gained the glory. Most guys (girls too) have at some point imagined themselves hitting the winning shot, making the critical play, or saving the day with some great feat of athleticism. And those who have finished first at some point in their lives often have a difficult time getting over it. Ever been in a group of guys reminiscing about a game they won 20 years ago?

I’ve certainly done my share of praying for victory, more so for my kids than myself. Every stroke of my daughter’s crew team, every shot from my second daughter on the tennis court, and every takedown by my son on the wrestling mat, I was interceding with God of heaven like it was an epic battle between good and evil. In those situations, as a parent I was in no mood to consider the theological appropriateness of praying for my kid to beat the other guy’s kid.

But now that my children are finished with high school athletics I have had the chance to regain my senses and to realize that God probably doesn’t care who wins the district championship or who is eliminated in the first round. Yes, I know God cares about all things in our lives, so let me put it like this: He does indeed care that we become champions, but not like we care and not the kind of champion this world celebrates.

I think God is much more concerned about each of us becoming a champion as defined in an older and more traditional sense. That is, one who stands in the gap for those separated from God, who takes up the cause poor, the orphans, and disenfranchised, who in fact becomes their champion.

It’s fine to compete and win in sports, but the likeness of Christ is best revealed as we champion the cause of others in need. There are a couple pieces of good news here:

1) you don’t have be a great athlete to win the greatest prize and

2) no matter how old you are, it is not too late to become a champion.

Walter Walker is the author of Walter’s Blog and is the Director of Communications and Donor Relations of Youth Life Learning Center.

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