Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)
TITLE: Wrestle Mania
By Tammy Bovee
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I move through the crowd, past the registration table, then down the high school hallway which is bustling with excited parents and kids. Down at one end is the refueling station, with granola bars, potato chips, and of course sportsí drinks.
As I enter the gym, young spindly boys and some girls dressed in wrestling suits line the mats. The wrestlers wear head-gear, so itís hard to tell who is who. Their young lithe bodies contort in spider-like positions, all with one aim, practicing to win the game by pinning the opponent.
Soon the announcer speaks my name, the audience quiets. I step up, grasp the microphone and sing. The audience applauds. I sit. As the first matches begin, the wrestlers take their positions. The intensity draws me in.
As I watch I think about the game of life. My eyes fill with tears as I recall the scripture that says that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities- mighty forces. I realize like never before how small I am. I am but a little child, helpless on my own. How feeble I am without Godís power. But the Bible says God is on my side and his power can equip me with unseen weapons if I choose to put on Godís armor.
Ephesians 6 names this armor; the shoes of peace, belt of truth, the sword of the spirit, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the breastplate of righteousness. These are all mine. But, just like a wrestler must learn holds, and tactics to win, I too need practice wielding the spiritual armor.
Am I carving out enough time for Bible study and prayer so I have peace? Am I equipping myself with Godís truth which keeps my perspective eternal? Do I spend time memorizing scriptures that I need in my personal battle? Am I choosing to take doubts or questions to Jesus and searching the Bible for answers or am I letting my doubts abate me? Am I choosing to respond to challenges Godís way, in holiness, or am I weakening myself by resorting to gossip, slander, or worse? Is my identity firmly in Christ or am I still trying to define myself by the worldís standards?
I sit watching match after match as sweaty youngsters battle it out. Many losers are mad, or so emotional they cry, while the officials raise the hands of the winners and award them with honors. Most matches are won by the most trained, the most prepared. I think again about how much like our spiritual life that is.
Soon itís time to leave the tournament. As I exit I clutch my free tee-shirt, a gift for doing my part, but I also leave with a new insight into the game of life; call it wrestle mania.
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