It has been said that the three most important aspects for success in retail or real estate is location, location, location. It was never beneficial to us as children to sell lemonade from our front yard when no one ever drove by. But if a kid set up a stand in town, the return was much greater simply because of the location. I once informed a start-up church not to launch 12 miles from the city limits way out in the remote countryside. Even in today’s church culture location matters. But more important than location is resolve. Location can have a direct impact on your level of success, but your resolve will dictate your level of commitment. According to Proverbs chapter 16, our plans will only succeed after we have committed our work to the Lord, and that means all of the work not just some of it.
The Olympics are winding down, and something I’ve noticed concerning the competing athletes is their ability to transition well. The difference between a gold medal and possibly silver or bronze is not how fast they swim but how quickly they transition. Their turns at the wall or their baton transitions on the track can make the difference between medaling and flying home empty handed. It doesn’t matter how fast they swim or run or even which location of lane they are in, they’ll win or lose in the transition. They probably spend as much time training in the transition as they do in their sprint or breaststroke.
In the Old Testament book of 1 Kings, a man named Naboth owned a vineyard beside the palace of the king. “Location, right?” Obviously the king wanted it for himself and offered to purchase it or even trade out for another piece of property, but Naboth would not make the deal with the king. Naboth commented in verse 3 that he could not give to the king the inheritance of his fathers. This is not because of the sentimental value but rather their Jewish custom was that they did not sell their rightful inheritance. It would be disrespectful to his ancestry and to his offspring. Naboth chose his resolve over the king’s location. The king sulked and the evil queen, Jezebel, had Naboth falsely accused and killed so her husband could have another man’s property.
Even in the face of death, Naboth chose his commitment and resolve over his well-being. I think if we combine this Old Testament story with the Olympic transitions, we can find that maybe in today’s world we’re simply not transitioning well. How many hours are we spending teaching our kids to serve the Lord? Have we displayed to them the importance of committing ourselves to Christ? The next generation will never know how to commit their work to the Lord if they never see the resolve in us. There’s more to life than what we see in front of us. Eternity will be won or lost in the transition. The sad fact is the following generation will be the ones to lose if we fail in our resolve in the now.
Paul tells in Romans chapter 12 that we are transformed (transitioned) by the decisions that are made in the mind. It is important that those around us can see that transition as well. Paul makes that very clear. Olympians will train thousands of hours perfecting the little things, and little things eventually add up to wins and losses. Don’t neglect the little things in life, because they’re really bigger than you think.
Let’s meet at “The Point” this Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and we will run our races side by side. We’re located on the square, in Sparta. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.