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Downhill from Here

Jean-Claude Killy, the French ski champion, did more than work hard at his sport.

When he made his nation’s ski team in the early 1960s, he was determined to be the best. He decided vigorous training was the key. Up at dawn each day, he ran up mountains with his skis on – a very painful activity. Weight training, sprinting…Killy was determined to do whatever it took to reach peak physical condition.

Other team members were working just as hard, and in the end it was a change in style, not conditioning, that set Killy apart.

The goal in ski racing is to ski down a prescribed mountain course faster than anyone else. Killy began experimenting to see if he could pare any seconds off his time. He found that if he skied with his legs apart, he had better balance. He also found that if he sat back on his skis when executing a turn, instead of leaning forward as was customary, he had better control, which also resulted in faster times. Rather than regarding his ski poles as an accessory for balance, Killy tried using them to propel him forward.

Killy’s style was unorthodox. But when he won most of the major ski events in 1966 and 1967, including 3 gold medals at the Winter Olympics, skiers around the world took notice. Today, the Killy style is norm among downhill and slalom racers. Any other “style” would be considered odd.

As Christians we are not called to conform to the world’s standards, but to God’s standards. Our lifestyle should challenge people to come to Jesus Christ and live according to His higher ways and purposes. The Christian “style” may seem odd to the unbeliever, but in the end, it is the style that will previal!

Don’t be afraid to be a little “unusual” today in the eyes of those who observe you. Your example may help win them over to a championship lifestyle.

This devotion is from “Breakfast with God.”

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