No one could ever accuse me of being sport mad. South Africans tend to be rugby and cricket fans, and I admit I had some frenzied moments in the days of my youth, but nowadays, I am more likely to wildly cheer an orchestra or musician playing a well-loved piece of music. Pete is an ardentF1 fan of many years, so I know a fair bit about motor racing, but he is the only reason I watch it on occasion.😊

So it’s quite ironic that Best Beloved and I have over the past few years become arm-chair fans of American Ninja Warriors! Week by week we sit in our comfortable chairs and, for an hour, cheer wildly at the amazing ability, endurance, and sheer courage of these remarkable athletes. We gasp in wonder and root for our special favorites. We shout encouragement at the screen, perhaps giving advice on how to handle a troublesome hurdle, and when someone misses a move and lands in the water, we groan in disappointment. But when the competition is over, we have used up no energy, learned no new skill. All we HAVE done is merely observe and be entertained by what cost someone else a great deal in personal discipline and training.

Being a follower of Christ is no observer sport. Encouraging one another in the faith is important of course, but it is not sitting on the sidelines cheering others on like so many ‘fans’ of the Christian way of life! I have come to understand that it is becoming the Ninja Warrior, if I may put it that way. Every obstacle I encounter, every challenge to my faith, is an opportunity to demonstrate what I have learned from living life guided by the Word of God. In John 10:10 Jesus equates the enemy with “a thief whose only purpose is to kill, steal and destroy” and Paul says in 2 Cor. 2:11 “… Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.” The Word gives me all the ‘moves’ necessary for running the race every day, and when I get dumped in the cold water of failure, Jesus is there to give me a hand up by His Spirit, turning my failure into high flight!

It is true that the imperatives of the Word can take a lifetime to learn, and they take commitment, discipline, listening and obeying, but I know of no other way to run this race to the end: COME …follow me; CAST… all your cares; BELIEVE … and be saved; SEEK… and you will find; PRAY… without ceasing; RESIST… the devil; LOVE… the Lord you God; LOVE… your neighbor; GIVE…and it shall be given to you; GO… into all the world; having done all…STAND. The list is almost endless, but the perfect action for each challenge is whispered by the “still, small voice” I have come to know so well.

Today I am so very grateful for the Word, put into me from childhood, and the gracious Holy Spirit who knows exactly how to prompt me to overcome my daily challenges – if only I will ASK… so that it may be given tome!