At the dinner, several speakers mentioned not only the achievements of the students but the sacrifices made by parents and the influence of coaches and teachers as well.
I couldn't help but see the parallels to the Christian life.
Study to show thyself approved. 1 Tim. 2:15
We are called to be students of the Word. The Bereans were commended because they examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true Act. 17:11
We may not be the most intellectual, the most brilliant, the most studious student of the Word. We don't have to be. But with our humble understanding, we need to go to the Word, and not just for its teaching (although that is how we grow and learn), but to hear from its Author. When you speak, you use words. When He speaks, He uses His Word.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Heb. 12:1
Let us run with perseverance: The Christian life is a race. We are to run the race in such a way that we win the prize (1 Cor. 12:9). We are to press on ... forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize. (Phil. 3:12-14) Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, do not run like a man running aimlessly. Do not fight like a man beating the air. (1 Cor. 9:26)
We are running a marathon, not a sprint. My son is a long-distance runner, so he rarely competes in any sprints. He's got endurance, but just isn't speedy. In the Olympics, they call the 100m winner the "fastest man alive". Maybe that's true in the short run, but how fast will he finish in the long run? And in what condition will he be when a long race is over? We are called to persevere for the long run.
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles: My son badly sprained his ankle a few weeks ago. It was his first injury ever to prevent him from participating in a sport. And Mr. Goofball sustained this injury while fooling around trying pole-vaulting (NOT his sport!!) How can someone so smart do something so stupid? Ooops, how often do I do something I know I shouldn't! Or not do something I know I should! We ought to stick to the race that God has planned for us and not yield to the temptations that distract us from His purpose.
Yesterday, AJ ran in his first track meet since his injury. He hadn't been training as usual, so the coach just put him in the short 100m race. Amazingly, he won! Which illustrates that when we need an extra burst of power in a difficult situation, He provides!
We are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses: At the banquet were parents, siblings, teachers and coaches, all of whom had logged countless hours cheering on the sidelines, providing taxi services to practices, purchasing equipment & uniforms, investing themselves in the lives of their young athletes. As we run our race, we are encouraged by those around us and by those who have gone before us setting an example for us to follow. And we are called to be encouragers to others on their journey as well. Comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Cor. 1:4)
So now - Congratualtions to you on your Scholar Athlete Award!