The World Cup, that football or soccer tournament, is full of surprises. It is like life in many ways, because life is so full of surprises, no matter where you are or what your circumstances are.
Some teams can do very well when they appear in these competitions and others who thought they could do well find that the reality is quite different.
Eight years ago there were many people shocked when South Korea managed to defeat Spain, Italy and Portugal, to reach the semi-finals. Not people would have thought of South Korea as one of the semi-finalists.
Did they have a secret? There are suggestions that it was all down to the training! It has been said that the South Korea squad spent more time than any other in training and preparation through various practices matches. They knew the secret of hard work as they strived towards their goal of scoring goals.
The quality of motivating leadership must have been important in that squad.
Training and preparation are vital if we want success. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary!
If man will put in all this effort for a game, what ought we be to be investing in as we prepare for the game of life? That most powerful and anointed man of God, Paul, wrote in his letter to young Pastor Timothy that physical training is good but training for godliness is much better. That gives the promise not simply of a mere trophy but indicates various benefits in this life and also in the life to come.
In other words, Paul is indicating and showing us and all of mankind what is really worthwhile.
Now, here is a leader who took leadership to a higher and deeper dimension.
When a man follows Jesus Christ, the risen and living Son of God, that man is on to a winner.
I continue to enjoy going out jogging and running and exercising but I am also seeking to prepare for when this physical life is all over down here.
As we train to be godly through reading the Bible and prayer, we begin to reflect something of the character of Almighty God in our own lives. God calls us to live for Him and to shun and avoid the temptations around us which can lead us astray. Although I value physical training, this type of training is much more valuable.
The efforts of the South Korean soccer squad are to be admired and appreciated and commended, but outside the world of sport and football, their training really runs out of uses, in a sense.
Go for godliness. Be as active as you physically can, but choose to be a man or woman who reads and studies the bible which is the Word of God, and make that determined effort to pray. Prayer is hard work.
Writing is comparatively easy. Reading and studying the Bible is comparatively easy. Prayer is hard work, but always remember that the rewards of godly living yield eternal benefits and blessings, as well as a sense of physical well-being at present.