Today, Steven was interviewed by Pastor Dale Oquist at the morning services, to personify the focus of I Corinthians 9:19-27, about winning souls at any cost, being willing to change everything and anything about our lives as believers to live and act as a sent people. The Apostle Paul wrote, v. 19,
Though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more.
The pastor asked Steven about his fitness regimen, his motivation, and the strict discipline of his life as a bodybuilder, in preparation for competing against 100 men in San Jose soon, and against 500 men in Las Vegas next month in order to qualify for his Pro Card.
"Do you enjoy getting up at 5:30 each day to work out on a Stair Master for 45 minutes on an empty stomach?"
"How do you motivate yourself?"
"I give myself a pep talk, saying, 'Do you want to be a champion? And if it was easy, everyone would be doing it." (That also goes for his Spartan diet).
Pastor asked Steven, "Why? Is anyone forcing you to do this?"
"I believe God has given each Christian a platform--teachers, the classroom; Pastor Dale, the Peoples' Church; LeCrae, the hip-hop community. Mine is the bodybuilding and fitness world, where there is no witness. It's a self-absorbed, materialistic world, and God's called me to it. By being a champion, I'll have credibility."
I was strongly impressed, of course, as each of the three services went forward online, with the public testimony our son was privileged to give on a very large scale today; but even more so with the pastor's message. Our family knows Steven's focus on winning only too well, such as his taking his foods to his sister Heidi's wedding last June, and the 6x daily my kitchen gets taken over when Steven visits!
More than impressed, however, I was convicted of indecision, and perhaps excuse-making, in regard to my business. But there is a bigger question than "Am I determined to do what it takes to be a sales director?" (That means keeping track of my team's statistics, doing huge production, disciplining my business' finances).The piercing, gut-wrenching question for me is, "WHAT is my ministry platform for saving souls?" Is it:
- Teaching women the Bible (now and for the last 30 years); writing Bible studies
- Mary Kay, where I reach out to the saved and the lost, have fun and modest success
- Ministering to dementia caregivers in deep mental, emotional and physical distress with this blog
- Speaking to the culture on public policy (God's call was to serve 13 years in elected office)
- Mentoring young women on being the wives and moms God would have them to be (Titus 2:3-4)
One thing I do realize, is that, as my son says to himself each day, "If it (preparing for a championship) were easy, everyone would be doing it!" With that assertion, if every Christian had saving souls at the top of their mind and were willing to be sent to anyone God brings to his or her attention, we would have multiplied millions of us sharing the message of salvation with everyone we could!
Let me close with I Corinthians 9:25-27:
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we do it for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
But I discipline my body and bring it into submission, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Preach the gospel to whomever you know from wherever you are!