"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway"-1 Corinthians 9:27
In some ways, life is like running a race. A course has been mapped out for us, which we run at our particular pace. It does not matter how great or terribly we start off, nor does it matter whether we end up first or last; we are a winner in life if we cross the finish line--provided we play by the rules.
Crossing the finish line is one thing, but doing so while playing by the rules is something else. During my days in grade school, I had several classmates who always wanted to beat their way. They would rather cheat and copy off others to make passing grades than do it the old-fashioned way: study hard. Then there was the school bully who would rather beat up others and take their money than work or be content with what he or she had. These are cheaters in the game of life.
My high school observances are a microcosm of our society. Some folks are bent on not playing by the rules, and they justify their actions by saying the end justifies the means. This attitude is more of a problem in some areas than it is in others. For instance, it appears that some dieters are looking for the "perfect" plan that enables them to eat whatever they want to, exercise as little as possible, and still look as if they are health fanatics. Generally, those who buy into this hype are hurting only themselves. However, a person who gets a fictitious medical degree and is allowed to practice medicine puts many people at risk.
On the most relevant level in life, we have a race to run, of which the Lord is the judge. God forbid that we should run this race, failing to play by the rules, only to have Him disqualify us in the end.
Dear God in heaven, help me to run the race of life, playing by Your rules. My ultimate desire is to be declared a winner in life--by You.... Amen.