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There is no shortage of activities in Cyprus for those who love water sports: windsurfing, water skiing, wakeboarding, electric surfboarding, jet skiing, sailing, parasailing, kitesurfing, canoeing and paddle boarding, to name but a few.

Everyone can find a sport/activity suitable to their stamina levels and skill.

Some prefer activities on terra firma, also requiring a high level of practice and competence!

One thing that all sports have in common is endurance. Whether it is competitive sport or individual, considerable stamina, determination and discipline are required to perform.

It has been said that life is a marathon, not a sprint! Endurance and commitment are needed to fulfil our God-given purpose. The apostle Paul viewed it as a race when he wrote to the believers in Corinth:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

The Corinthians were well acquainted with the reference to the race and the victory wreath due to the biennial Grecian games which took place on the Isthmus of Corinth. Many of the Corinthian converts would either have been former spectators or participants. Paul exhorts the believers to run in the Christian race in a way to receive the prize, which is an imperishable victory wreath.

The Christian life requires control and discipline with a definite goal in view. Unlike the perishable wreaths of the victors at the Isthmian games, the victory wreath to which Paul is referring has eternal value. All that we do on this earth for the Lord has significance in eternity. As believers we are to persevere in serving God through sharing the gospel and loving others.

The writer to the Hebrews encourages us to 'lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us'. Hebrews 12:1.

Paul wrote to the Galatian believers:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Just as the people of Cyprus display admirable sportsmanship in various activities, we too need to run the spiritual race with the skill and endurance of an athlete. An imperishable crown awaits us if we run well and finish the race victoriously.


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