This week, on July 4, I enjoyed watching one of my favorite sporting events on ESPN and it did not disappoint. It comes live on TV every Independence Day from Coney Island in Brooklyn and it is Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. This is heart-stopping, mouth-stuffing action from beginning to end. The true G.O.A.T. of all ESPN sports is in this annual contest. It’s true and he proved triumphant once again this year. Yeah, Hot Dog champion, Joey Chestnut, won his 15th consecutive title by eating 63 Hot Dogs in 10 minutes. It may be hard for you to swallow, but this is 20,000 calories worth of Hot Dogs. No other athlete in any other sport on ESPN has won so many consecutive titles—not Tom Brady in Football nor Michael Jordan in Basketball—thus I refer to him as the true G.O.A.T. He is the greatest wiener warrior of all time!

What made this year’s contest particularly delicious is that a protester interrupted the event by storming the stage in the middle of the action but our champion put a headlock on the protester until security showed up and just kept on chewing without losing a beat or a bite. Rich Shea, President of Major League Eating, commented to the press about our hotdog hero, “When faced with an unexpected obstacle, Joey handled it swiftly with dignity and aplomb. It proves Joey Chestnut is the greatest athlete of all time and a true American hero.”

That is what he said—I am not so sure. But what I do think about this story is that when faced with an interruption and an obstacle, our wiener winner kept his focus and did not let it deter him from what he had come to do. That is food for thought!

Now chew on this: Determine what the priorities are for you and allow nothing to take away your concentration on what is truly important to you. Keep your focus on what really matters—everything else is baloney (hot dog stuffing)!

I like what Paul said on this subject regarding his spiritual life with Christ: “I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me…I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching for what is before, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). 

You get it—Keep your eyes on the prize! (and maybe go eat a Hot Dog)

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron


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