A few weeks ago, I watched part of the Olympic Games on television; you may have seen them too. Over the years, I've always enjoyed watching the Olympics whenever I could and I always marvel at the discipline and ability of these gifted athletes.
One thing particularly impressed me this year, however -- and that was the absolute concentration of the participants. The crowd might be roaring ... their fellow competitors might be jostling for position ... the television lights threatened to blind them ... but once the contest started, they focused totally on the task before them. They knew that even the slightest distraction could make them lose the race or compromise their performance.
So many things can distract us from the race God has set before us as believers. Sin, worry, disappointment, sickness, fear -- the list is almost endless. How can you stay spiritually alert and strong? First, strengthen your spiritual life. Just as an athlete takes care of his or her body with the right exercise and food, so we need the right spiritual exercise and food: prayer, the Bible and fellowship with other believers.
Then keep your eyes on Jesus, not on whatever is happening to you at the moment. The Bible says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). He is our example, and He also is our assurance that the race is worth running. When our focus is on Him, the distractions begin to fade.