The Taste of Victory
I don’t know if you’ve been there or not, on the edge of disaster that is, where if something big doesn’t happen soon, you’ll have to sell the farm and move to town. If you’ve lived very long, I know you’ve been there, teetering on the edge of panic, wondering if there were any other fools in town but you.
Sometimes we get there by our own choices, things that we have decided to do that places us smack-dab in the middle of pressure that we just didn’t need. At other times, however, it seems like circumstances dump on us for no apparent reason, and we find that old familiar knot in the pit of our stomachs. Like another dip on the roller coaster, we catch our breath and hang on for dear life.
What possesses some of us to put on a parachute and jump out of a perfectly good airplane? What gets into some of our heads when often we have worked so hard to provide a place of safety and comfort for us and our families, and we suddenly get a bug to travel to some foreign country where we have the privilege of sleeping on the floor, eating bad food, and suffering from the heat and the bugs?
There must be a mysterious ingredient built in the heart of man when its functioning properly, that it won’t let him be content with taking the long road home. The shortcut along the high and dangerous cliffs always seem more inviting.
However, with a fair amount of discipline and a few years under your belt, you can control your urges for “life on the edge”. Thereby joining the masses of those who are plodding along, eyes on their feet, occupying time and space, but going nowhere, effecting no one, and changing nothing.
Why do you suppose this generation of X-ers are bunjie jumping off bridges and sailing off mountain peaks on snowboards? Because of this generation, we’ve had to create a new word and level for sports called “extreme sports”. Most of the wonders that God has put within our reach as humans to enjoy have a taste, smell, and feel to them. In the same way you taste and feel the cold outside when the chill of the air slaps you in the face, so the thrill of climbing the mountain, mastering the wave, and making the dive, have the same physical and emotional effect.
The passions to taste and experience victory or freedom come out of the same source–a God-given desire to be all we can be, do all we can do, and grow to our highest potential in life. If any of these areas become hindered or constrained by circumstances, we do one of two things–resist, or give into the pressure and join the masses of those who are waiting for death in the protection and safety of their predictable lives.
Just as the best fruit always seems to be on the far end of the limb, so the satisfying thrill of victory is never within easy reach of the couch. The taste and thrill of victory can never truly be enjoyed by the one watching from the grandstands. It is only the one who has sacrificed, who has suffered the pain, who has given up precious time for the game that really understands what victory is all about.
In the past two decades, the church as a whole has been turned into a spectators’ sport. Mega churches have grown to proportions beyond our imaginations. Grand and glorious buildings house masses of eager saints waiting with baited breath to see their favorite spiritual “star”. They listen closely, buying the tape and the book of their “star” that explains exactly how it felt to experience his or her latest victory. Most of the saints have never realized that they are celebrating someone else’s victory, never their own.
How do we get from the bench to the field? How do we break the old habits that have caused us to retreat behind our doors of safety? How do we change into that image that God has planned for us?
The answer is simple yet profound. God gives the desire. God gives the cry of the soul. God gives the abilities to do what He’s created us to do. Our part is to lay our time and plans before Him. Let it cost you something. Feel the weight and pain of preparation and practice. Suffer the rigorous challenge of discipline. Then you’ll know what it means to enjoy the true taste of victory.
Apostle/Pastor George Watkins
Band-Aid, Splint, and Liniment Dept.