Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Dropout (05/12/11)
TITLE: Check Your Uniform
By Kim Hamlin
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The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network began in 1986. They have become a well-established resource for student success, and offer the following as to why dropping out is the wrong move: High school dropouts are four times more likely to be unemployed than those who have completed four or more years of college, high school graduates earn $143 more per week than dropouts, dropouts are more likely to rely on public assistance, and they comprise a disproportionate percentage of the nation's prison and death row inmates at 82%.
Instead of dropping out, some just quit. Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee quit the presidential race before getting started. Sarah Palin quit the governorship of Alaska. In 1992, Ross Perot ran against the Democrats and Republicans for the presidency. In the middle of the summer's primaries, Perot suddenly quit. Newt Gingrich was the political hero of the Republican Party after the 1994 election, but disappointment in 1998 caused him to pack it in. He resigned as Speaker of the House almost immediately, and then left Congress in 1999.
The political field doesn't have quitting cornered. The Spice Girls became a global phenomenon in the 90s, and even made a movie. Then in 1998, Ginger Spice, a.k.a. Geri Halliwell, suddenly quit. After television's highest ratings, Jerry Seinfeld declared his intention to retire from his sitcom Seinfeld, walked away from the show in 1998.
If you are a Christian, you are in a race. This race doesn't have a GED test that you can take if you drop out and it isn't a career that you can exchange for another. The prize at the end is eternal life.
To finish this race, our thinking has to become one with the thinking of Jesus. He had ears to hear the Spirit and a will that only desired to do the Father's will. His obedience is unparalleled. Our natural minds are opposed to truth; our flesh wants us to remain in darkness so we don't see the traps and pitfalls on the race course, only attractive obstacles. We cannot ignore the obstacles or quit the race, we must overcome them.
Paul gives us some advice regarding this race in the book of Ephesians. He writes that we must put on the whole armor of God so that we can resist the tricks of the devil. He tells us that we are actually dealing with evil principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places.
This is not a regular racing uniform. Paul says we need to girt our loins with Truth, we need a breastplate of Righteousness, our feet shod with the Gospel, and above all, we must have a shield of Faith, a helmet of Salvation and the sword of the Spirit. The good news is that Jesus Christ provides this uniform for us. It is a gift to us, for which He gave His life.
If you are having thoughts of dropping out of the race, check your uniform. You need the full armor to be protected. Ask Jesus to show you which piece you might be missing. Ask Him to help you put it back on, so you can get back in the race!
Half of all businesses fail in the first year and 50% of marriages end in divorce. Failure cannot be avoided in this world, but quitting can be. Don't be a dropout.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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