Don’t Wait Till the Battle Is Over, Shout Now!

I have an admission to make.

I’m really bowled over with Usain Bolt.

I don’t know if it’s because it hearkens back to my dismal track days in high school, or is it really just the black on black affinity that definitely never meshed with Michael Phelps or even with Cullen Jones.  Whatever the case may be, he’s incredible to watch and there’s a mystic quality to him.  Which is probably why folks are hatin’ on him. 

But, as I was watching a rerun clip from his 100-meter sprint that clearly solidified him as the fastest man in the world, I realised there was a lesson in his race.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

That’s the opening verses of Hebrews chapter 12 from the New King James Version and I just wondered in the midst of the Olympics just how many preachers over the past few weeks have been preaching from this passage.   I’ve heard countless sermons from preachers who always spoke of their glory days running track and they always paint this marvelous picture much of a track with a great crowd much like we’ve seen during this 29th Olympiad and then go from there to make their God claim.

However, I do believe Bolt fits better into the mold of Joshua 6 as the Israelites were instructed by Joshua to shout after walking around the city seven times.  Well, officially, they hadn’t won anything yet.  The city of Jericho hadn’t been conquered.  They hadn’t won the battle yet.  But the instruction was to shout right now, technically while the battle was still being fought.

I believe God revealed a parallel example in Usain Bolt.  Usain already knew that he had the victory–in fact it was a fixed fight.  He was 6’5″, had legs for days and he knew it.  I guess I just missed the memo that you were supposed to make your competitors feel good after you just whooped they butt! 

Bolt understood what it meant to not wait until the battle was over, but to shout right now!

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4 responses to “Don’t Wait Till the Battle Is Over, Shout Now!

  1. Wonderful exegeis…practical application while considering opportunity costs…

    ‘Shout now’ (altogether 1-2-3)

    KEEPING IT UPPITY CHOSEN…grateful for the opportunity to run this race fraught with stumbling and joy, with real pain tempered by the peace that passes understanding…HALLELUJAH!

  2. A fellow blogger fwd this post to me after a much heated debate regarding Mr. Bolt’s behavior before the races. My statements supported those who thought he should’ve been humble and not gloat before his victory was proven. She stated everything above (-) the bible versus…lol… I guess there is a gray area here. As a Christian I was taught to be humble in everything I do h/e still speaking and claiming all that has yet to happen as though it already has. What is the balance between the two?

  3. Well, I think we’ve been taught (read: brainwashed) into believing that it has to be this OR that as opposed to this AND that.

    The theology behind “don’t wait till the battle is over, shout now” is rooted in the fact that it’s a fixed fight and that as followers of Christ, we already know what the outcome is going to be–that no matter what we will be victorious. Bolt is 6’5″ with legs for days, if he DIDN’T win, I woulda said he threw the race.

    He had an advantage far beyond that of his competitors, and we’re taught that as Christians that God is on our side, which would of course naturally give us the victory.

    Furthermore, it’s a competition. Black folk have experienced way too often being told by white folk that “it don’t take all that” and aside from the church instances where other blacks have adopted that theology that “it don’t take all that” it has spilled over into the area of sports. It’s a competition, this isn’t some friendly race, but clearly he was racing for the Olympic medal.

    And definitely as followers of Christ, we’re really running a race for our lives.

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