This morning, I was corresponding with an old friend from high school, and we were discussing many of the people who we had been in school with. It was amazing to both of us just how much we’ve all changed and how much life has impacted each one of us in various ways.Some have been seriously injured in accidents; others have not aged the best and even others have died in the years since we graduated high school.
As I was reflecting on this, for whatever reason, I got a thought of how many of us spend our lives chasing after things that are nothing more than a waste of time, a waste of life, a waste of our energies and so on. Then the thought hit me that not only do we chase after the wrong things, but we go after them “full-tilt”.
If you know anything about the medieval times when knights of all sorts were in the world, you’ll know that “full-tilt” comes from that era, when in joisting competitions, knights would ride straight at each other, carrying a long wooden pole called a lance, with the hopes of knocking their opponent off their horse. “Full-tilt” comes from the actions of the knight, who would gallop on their horse full speed and leaning (tilting) toward the horse’s head. It was truly a spectacular crash, I’m sure, when the knight’s lances collided with the shield of their opponent.
While I’m sure there was a lot of pain involved in the impact, at least the opponent and his shield had some “give” to them and the resulting impact on the knight carrying said lance wasn’t as bad as it could be. Can you imagine, however, what it would be like if the knight were to ride “full-tilt” into a brick wall? It sounds insane to even think about it, and no doubt, it wasn’t done because of that. And yet, that’s exactly what we often end up doing with our lives.
“How?” you may ask. Well, getting back to my correspondence with my friend. As we were discussing past friends and the things that have happened to them, I got a thought about the “Man of La Mancha” musical. If you are not aware of this musical, it is about an author and part time actor in the 16th century who had gone insane and thought himself to be Don Quixote (Key-hoe-tee), a knight of old, who would often see windmills as dragons or other monsters and he would charge “full-tilt” after them to slay them. You can well imagine the results. Apart from the fact he was insane, he charged after these “dragons” because he was deceived by his insanity into thinking they were a foe to be vanquished; a wrong to be righted … something he needed to engage. I immediately thought … “This is what many of us do with our lives!” I’m not saying that we’re insane, but I am saying that as humans, we get deceived so easily and are lead to believe by the devil that the various things we chase after are the right things and yet, we are chasing full-tilt into a windmill, because we do not see rightly. We ride full-tilt into useless things, things that have no true meaning, things that are not ours to ride after in the first place and ultimately … we ride full-tilt after things that may eventually kill us. All because we do not see as we should.
If you read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, you will find some very interesting things that you can easily apply to your life today. Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, who was the richest man in the world at the time. He could have any desire he wished. He had a harem the size of some countries (an over exaggeration, but he had a lot of wives, trust me!) and anything he could possibly want, he had. Ultimately, do you know what he said about all that? It was all completely meaningless! He discovered that though he had everything the world had to offer, it was still meaningless. How much is that like what we often feel today? Solomon walked away from God and chased after things that were not his to chase after and though he had it all, he had nothing.
We too in these days have walked away from God. We have tried to chase after all the things that the world has to offer, but in reality, it’s all meaningless. We smoke, drink, cuss, spend money we don’t have, eat too much, party til the sun comes up and so on, but what has it brought us? Meaninglessness! Some of us are well aged passed what we should be for our time here on earth. Others of us have been severely injured, while others still have died. There is so much more to life than what we chase full-tilt after. Please call on the Lord while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6). Please seek after Him and ride after Him full-tilt (Matthew 6:33). There is more to this life than living and dying (Steven Curtis Chapman). Please find out what it is and be saved. Romans 10:9 - That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
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