September 15, 2016
by Dr. Matt Friedeman
“Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
(1 Cor. 9:25)
At the NCAA Track and Field Championships my final year in college, I gathered with a number of athletes and coaches to watch the shot put competition. I was half-watching, half-lamenting that my career as a discus thrower was now over, when an athlete from another university looked over at me and said that one of the most prominent coaches in the nation, sitting right in front of us, had talked about me during the discus contest. I asked Tom Tellez, the great coach from Houston, what he had said. He mentioned that if I could just get rid of that little hop in the middle of my spin, I would have thro
wn 18-20 ft. further on that day.
“What!” I said. Tellez, the Tellez, thought I could have thrown a lot farther if I had better form? Well, why hadn’t my coach, the famous and much respected Bob Timmons, told me?
More than a little disgusted, I asked Coach Timmons about it later. He reminded me, much to my chagrin, that over and over he had tried to change my wretched form, including that little hop, but that I had always replied, “But, Coach, that’s just my style!” In other words, despite my coach’s efforts, I had rejected correction and fallen far short of a national championship.
There is no holiness without the humility that comes with accountability. We must be open to changing our lives and have open ears and an open mind to be ready to adjust our lives at any point where the Lord chooses. If not, we fall far short of our potential in Christ.