Gumption

“Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.”
—1 Corinthians 9:26

I’m definitely old-fashioned, but who reading this remembers tryouts? I thought of it when I asked, “Who won?” to a young boy and his mom as they came back from his soccer game. His mom replied, “Oh, we don’t keep score. In this league, we don’t keep score and everybody plays.” Hmm. I tried to hide my confusion, but had she replied in Yiddish it would have made just as much sense.kid-baseball-players1

You know, if Paul were in sports, I think he would have enjoyed keeping score. The way he talked of disciplining his body like an athlete as a metaphor of life, or how passionately he wrote of running the race with endurance; something tells me, Paul would have understood the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” Of course, Paul would be the first person to teach us of grace and forgiveness, but a record of wrongs is not the issue at stake (thankfully). So the issue is more about the kind of fight we have in us for the faith, as well as for the body. Like Paul, it’s time to follow our God-given, God-driven, Godly-living instincts.

Truth be told, if our health was required for Heaven, well, we’d be in bad shape. And if God kept score on our day’s losses, we’d lose outright every time. But it’s because of those things that we might as well toughen up. Who knows how effective we could be for the kingdom if we exercised a little more Godly gumption. Not in order to win favor, but because we have favor.

Oh, and I have to report, as my neighbor disappeared into her home, the little boy stuck his head out the front door, put his hand up to the side of his mouth as if to tell me a secret from across the street: “We won 11 to nothin’!” he yelled with a whisper. Atta boy, I thought. Gumption. He’s a carrier. And so are you.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion:

Any prayer requests? What are you facing today or this week that you need Godly gumption to face? If I may, I have a prayer request, but I’m listing it as “unknown” so please lift me up. Let’s play. Have a good day dear friends.