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"A Spectacular Goal"

Jeff Quandt relates the following: "During a Monday night football game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, one of the announcers observed that Walter Payton, the Bears running back, had accumulated over nine miles in career rushing yardage. The other announcer remarked, 'Yeah, and that's with somebody knocking him down every 4.6 yards!' " Before Walter Payton died he became the most successful running back in the history of the National Football League. He made NFL history, not because he never got knocked down, but because each time he got knocked down he got up and ran again! Mia Hamm is another popular athletic hero. Her spectacular play in the 1999 World Cup thrilled millions and helped propel the U. S. women's soccer team to victory. In Go For The Goal Mia said, "You may get skinned knees and elbows, but it's worth it if you score a spectacular goal."

A spectacular goal. That's the power that drives the Mia Hamms and Walter Paytons of the world to push themselves beyond normal limits of pain and punishment for the sake of athletic glory. The value of the goal far exceeds any pain or personal effort and sacrifice required to achieve it. For the apostle Paul the most spectacular goal in life was that of knowing and serving Jesus. He summarized the power of that goal over and in his life in Philippians 3:7-8- "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ..." What Paul gained in Christ made all his earthly accomplishments and achievements seem but a pile of rubbish in comparison. In spite of skinned knees and elbows (and much more), Paul thought it well worth it to reach life's most spectacular goal of knowing and eventually being with Jesus.

What is your greatest goal in life? In every generation the church of Christ is to be that group of people on earth for whom gaining Christ is life's most spectacular goal. Our most important goal is not to be successful or wealthy or powerful or popular or famous or comfortable or even to be happy. Life's most spectacular goal for the Christian is still to gain Christ, no matter what it costs. Remember, "You may get skinned knees and elbows, but it's worth it if you score a spectacular goal."

by Dan Gulley
Smithville Church of Christ