Monday, September 15, 2014

Winning the Race

 Friends of Faith:

Are you winning the race? Whether we realize it or not, we all have goals that we are working towards or training for – whether the race is as simple as teaching a child how to tie their shoes, or as difficult as losing 10 pounds or running a marathon—by our nature we work towards, and for, higher and higher goals and achievements. And we teach and have been taught to set our goals high, to have winning attitudes.

But how high are our goals really? Are our goals continually increasing (like teaching that child to read, fitting back into your wedding dress, or competing in a triathlon) or are they truly imperishable?

Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. 1 Cor 9: 22-27

Unlike the goals we set here on earth where there is either only one winner or the goals keep getting greater, the goal designed for us by God is imperishable and meant for all to reach. There is nothing greater than a win in, for, and through Him.

Unfortunately though, many of us only set goals which are the touchable earthly goals of keeping up with the Jones’s or getting our kids to the top of some competitive sporting event. We focus on doing what will get us ahead on earth and forget about what God’s eternal design is for us—to love, honor and serve Him.

I find myself concerned with scheduling and planning my attendance at the next meeting, when I will have an opportunity to meet someone with notoriety, where I will eat the next meal and what I will see on my next trip out of town instead of on who needs my assistance, when I will let myself sit in silent prayer, or who is waiting for an invitation to come worship with me.

So the next time you find yourself competing, or encouraging your child to compete, or reaching to keep up with the Jones’s ask yourself: “What race am I running in?” “Is this “goal” God’s or mine?” “Will this competition allow someone else to experience and realize a gift of God or will it only achieve my own self serving desire?” “Will I make God visible to another through my action?”

Heavenly Father: You have created us to win, and given us a Church to guide us in reaching your imperishable goal. Help me to compete not to outdo my Christian sisters and brothers, but to search for ways to make Christ visible to them. Help me to be disciplined in my actions—not serving myself, not making more of myself, but serving others by lifting up and glorifying all of humanity with the respect and worth you created in each of them. Thank you for all the gifts you have given me which allow me to win much more than I deserve. Amen.

Be disciplined. Give in and give up what has become your own desire to instead search for what God desires of you. In reaching for the imperishable goal, God’s gifts will far exceed anything you might win here on earth.

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