24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Paul was a driven man. He had an inner force compelling him to persevere and pressing on. Was he a perfectionist or just hyper-focused.
Not everyone can be or should be Type A personalities like Paul. We all, however, have the same motivating “force” inside all of us. Paul didn’t let frailties and imprisonment stop him from doing what he was called to do. His was an all or nothing gambit. He lived Jonathan Edwards’ famous saying, “Lord, stamp eternity onto my eyeballs.”
But to put Paul on a pedestal would be wrong. He was a human with all the weaknesses and temptations we have. He had a very narrow goal and did everything in his power to achieve it. We are privy to some of that journey.
It’s fair if we all step back from time to time evaluate what we spend our time doing. Do we have the passion Paul did? Do we care that we don’t?