One of the main reasons I have such a good relationship with this business is because the ownership has a deep affection for Christ and consistently reminds me of who I am to represent.
Mark Murdock, one of the owners, sent me an email this week talking about Christian perspective of competition, excellence, and the desire for victory. Some of his words are below and worth the time to consider every time we step in the gym or on a platform.
When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, ‘Are You for us or for our enemies?’ ‘Neither,’ He replied. ‘I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.’ “
If God told Joshua to attack, and if the Israelites were God’s people, and if the enemies of Israel were enemies of God, why would the Lord’s army NOT be on the side of Joshua and the Israelites?
God is only interested in whether or not we are on HIS side. The battle and the results are His and will always result in whatever purpose He desires. That may be for us to win or for us to lose. But that is His business.
Ours is to compete in a way that He commands us.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for
men.” – Colossians 3:23
We compete for the Lord. Not for ourselves, our team, or any other reason. For the Lord alone, and for His glory.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. – I Corinthians 9:24-27
The prize that men seek in competition amounts to “running aimlessly”. We do not run aimlessly (for earthly prizes that will fade and that amount to chasing the wind as Solomon said) but we run for a prize that will last eternally.
My competition should be to compete with my opponent not against. One of the most attractive elements of CrossFit is that competitors in events share information, strategies, techniques, and cheer for each other to finish. They do this not just before and after competitions, but during. This resonates deeply with most of us and is the Biblical definition of competing with and not against. We were created with this bent and this is the reason it is so attractive, noble, and feels so pure. To raise my performance to such a high level, that my opponent is forced to raise his and vice versa. When we both compete at the highest level possible this is excellence. God is a God of excellence and our maximum level of effort, skill, technique, and excellence, in the midst of competing for a prize that will last, brings ultimate glory to Him.