For the past 10 years I have been a fan of American Ninja Warrior (ANW). Hundreds of competitors, both men and women, try out over 15 weeks to become one of the 30 contestants who attempt to complete demanding obstacle courses that always increase in difficulty.  Their goal is to make it to the national finals, in hopes of becoming an American Ninja Warrior and winning $1,000,000.  Over the course of 10 seasons with hundreds of competitors and a final where they must complete all 23 courses within two days, only 2 contestants have ever achieved Total Victory, and only one of those two actually won the $1 million prize!!

I am totally intrigued by all the competitors. I love the personal interviews that show the extensive training that these athletes undergo. They build their own courses and open gyms to encourage others to join them in their quest.  Many who return to compete year after year have become household names among the fans.  I have come to believe that, while the dollar prize is a great motivator, these contenders don’t really do it for the prize money so much as for the challenge, the drive, the passion that gives them the determination to return each season to try again.

Over the years of watching, I have thought of the desire for excellence in these competitors as a parallel for the desire we have to become the best person God intended us to be. Life is our obstacle course, often increasing in difficulty as we face, day by day, our own unique challenges. We train to become that best person through steadfast disciplines: prayer, quiet time, reflection, and study. We join others in this quest at our “spiritual gym” — First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem — where we receive encouragement, learn new skills, and become stronger in our faith, so that we can go out and inspire others to do the same. Yes, it is challenging!  But if we are consistent in our quest for the ultimate prize, we will reach our goal of becoming radical and passionate children of our Creator God.

On September 9, the start of the new season, we will launch our Fall program with a breakfast in Fellowship Hall between the 9:00 and 10:30 services.  Sunday School for both children and adults will also begin that day.  Watch the Newsletter for more information about our September happenings.  Have your calendar ready to note important dates as together we once again embark on our training to become the best people God intended us to be!

Love and Blessings,