Josephine quickly pulled her ski pants and jacket over her sweat suit and looked at herself in the mirror. She loved the color of her new ski suit! Her bright blue eyes sparkled as she considered the endurance race she was about to participate in. That trophy was going to look so good on that shelf! On her way out the door she grabbed another cinnamon roll. She was already a little full from the ‘farmer’s breakfast’ her mother had prepared for her, but those rolls were irresistible!
As she stepped out into the summer sunshine she began to have second thought about her outfit, but she shrugged off her concerns as she neared the track. She noticed the others warming up at the starting line. Phew! She figured she was warm enough already! She sauntered over to where her boyfriend, Phil, sat ready to cheer her on. Phil looked at her with his mouth hanging wide open. Josephine expected a compliment but was surprised to hear him dare to question her choice of clothes! “What on earth are you wearing? How can you run like that? You’ve practiced so hard for months and now you’re going to throw it all away?”
Josephine waved off his words of warning. “Don’t worry! It won’t hold me back! And don’t you just LOVE the color??”
Suddenly, she heard the final warning that her race was about to begin. She noticed that the laces of her brand new running shoes were loose and about to come untied altogether, but Josephine didn’t have time to worry about that. She was late again. She reached the starting line just as the signal was given to start the race. She glanced over at her coach, winked at him and yelled, “It’s a cinch! You’ll be so proud of me! We’ll take a photo together once I get that trophy!”
What do you think? Will Josephine win her race? Absurd, isn’t it! Ridiculous!
But consider this … do you approach the spiritual ‘race set before you’ in a similar way? Let me share some lessons with you that Josephine is about to learn the hard way:
1. If you stand still or slow down, you are not running! You will lose out and fall behind!
2. You cannot allow yourself liberties and freedoms afforded to those who are not serious about running the race well. You must watch your spiritual diet and discipline!
3. You cannot allow sin into your life. It will entangle you and trip you up.
4. The crowd of those who have gone before are cheering you on. You must not give up! You must reach the finish line and you must finish well!!
I encourage you to read in your training manual Hebrews 12:1, 2 as though it were the first time you’ve ever seen it.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Wow! At first glance I thought you really got confused because the girl was wearing a ski suit then went out in the summer sun. Your first paragraph really caught my attention and it had a lot of energy as well as some emotional grab with mom's cinnamon rolls. Once I re-read the first paragraph to make sure I had read what I thought I read, I continued on and God pointed His finger at me with a great big smile and said, "Now you know why you keep falling down!" Thank you for reminding me to tie my shoes and get dressed in more appropriate attire. -Patrick