Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT

I was once addicted to fitness. I had turned from being a very unwell, heavy smoker to being a man who could run 6 days a week and work out in the gym after each run. I ran half marathons and loved it. In each race I knew I could never win the prize by coming in first – I was in my late 40s and had treated my body badly in earlier days. But I always tried to run each race better and faster than the last one, and all my training was to do that – to do better than I had done before. I was obsessed with a prize that would fade away.

Now? Now I’m not physically fit any more. Am I spiritually fit? Not enough to win a prize. I don’t train enough. I don’t put in enough time or effort.

I don’t have enough passion, determination or obsession – not the way I used to have when I was running.

That has to change! I need to focus on the prize, the one that won’t fade. I need to watch out that I’m not disqualified. I need to improve my training and increase my effort.