Everyone starts somewhere, but most will be remembered for where and how they finished.
In every facet of life there are those who “Go the Distance,” and not only Go the Distance, but do it with a flair that causes those that know them to admire and emulate them. People who live to be 100 years of age, workers who finish 20, 30 or more years at the same job, marriages that last 50 years or more, and people who never waiver in their beliefs throughout their life; these people are admired for their ability to “Go the Distance.”
However, every person on the planet, even the successful ones, face struggles that cause them to want to quit, to take the easy path, to give up, or to compromise. People that persevere and “Go the Distance” without doing these things are admired and seen as successful. Everyone admires those who continue in the journey and finish the race strong, whether it is the athlete who has had a long and storied career, or the person who has completed a daunting task.
Athletics create situations that are great metaphors for life. A sporting contest, an athletic career, and a sports season all have beginnings and endings. Whether the athlete, coach or team went the distance is easily measured. These athletic metaphors, along with principles from God’s Word, form a powerful communication technique that helps us understand how to live our everyday lives so that we can “Go the Distance.”
The “Go the Distance” curriculum will take the approach of correlating five key qualities that give athletes the ability to “Go the Distance” with similar Biblical principles that can give us practical tips to help us “Go the Distance” in our lives.
These qualities include:
1. Be willing to change
2. Endure hardships
3. Know how to renew your strength
4. Know you cannot do it alone
5. Know where the finish line is
To develop the theme we will look at great sports endurance stories, as well as accounts from the missionary journeys of Paul the Apostle for our inspiration. Our theme verses will be found in II Timothy 4:7-8, in which Paul states, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
The children who will hear these lessons will face crucial moments in their lives, where their decision could affect their ability to “Go the Distance.” Through music, role modeling, teaching, actions, and the written word, the Christian child will be given guidance in how to recognize persevering principles from God’s Word. The non-Christian child will be challenged and shown how to trust God for a life that will be abundant, fruitful, and fulfilling.
God’s Word is the only true guide for living a life that will stand up under the pressure of life and finish strong. I pray that as you read and live the lessons in your preparation for teaching, that God will give you insights as to how to share your own applications of these concepts and that you will be inspired to “Go the Distance.”