"Give yourself completely to these things, and everyone will see you are making great advances." (1 Timothy 4:15, paraphrase).
No one who saw it will ever forget it. June of 1973, thousands of fans crowded into the stands and sprawled across the infield lawn of Belmont Park for the third leg of the Triple Crown. They were there to see Secretariat, the fabled horse who had already won the Kentucky Derby in record time, and also the Preakness. Now he was running for the Triple Crown....and history.
The fans were not disappointed. The big red thoroughbred made his move in the middle of the backstretch and rounded the final turn with all the other horses fading into the background. He started like a locomotive, but he finished like a jet; setting a new track record, and beating the field by over thirty lengths. (The track announcer called it at 25 lengths, but later the official stats placed it higher). I still tear up when I think of it; it was one of the most remarkable displays of heart and power I've ever seen.
Click here and watch it for yourself -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS4f6wiQJh4
As followers of Jesus, we also have the opportunity to do something great with our lives; to break out of the pack and leave others speechless with how God's glory and grace were made known to us...and, more importantly, through us.
Paul shows us how to do it in his timeless words to young Timothy, his protege. "Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young", he wrote, "but be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Focus on reading the Scriptures, encouraging others, and teaching God's word. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you. Give yourself completely to these things, and everyone will see you are making great advances." (1 Timothy 4:12-14, paraphrase).
Isn't it time that you broke out of the pack?