The Spectator Strategy

The Spectator Strategy Sermon Illustration

Many marathoners and long-distance runners know what it means to “hit the wall.” One minute, they’re running with sustained energy and speed, and the next, they feel immense fatigue and have to stop or maybe even drop out of the race. Researchers have discovered that the brain starts to dip in dopamine at certain points in the race, and there is a literal dip in motivation, excitement, and drive to continue. In order to combat this dip, many athletes have implemented the “spectator strategy,” where they position friends and family members at specific mile markers to help encourage them and cheer them on. Instead of hearing “I can’t do it!” in their head, they hear “You can do it!” from their fans. Hearing the cheers of encouragement counteracts the dopamine dip and lifts the athletes’ spirits, pushing them forward with more vigor than before. Think of this as you read Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”