Friday, April 25, 2014

THE RACE OF LIFE


Wow! I feel like now-a-days the speed of life is like being on a train going at the speed-of-light and the brake manual is in another language. I observe people around me executing this kind of break-neck-speed lifestyle all the time. It's not such a wonder to how individuals running this race of life - the sprint - ever have time for family, friends, themselves, or God.

Paul talks about this sprint lifestyle when he wrote the first time to the believers in Corinth. He said,
  • Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. - 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
The word "race" in this verse is the Greek word Stadeeon meaning stadium or a race within the stadium that was measured out to be 220 yards long. This would mean the race was a faster paced race than the one Paul talks to Timothy about at the end of his life in 2 Timothy 4:6-7.
  • For I am already being poured out like a drink offering,and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Here the word "race" is translated Dromos in the original Greek. This means a career or longer course spread out over time. This is the kind of race that goes hand-in-hand with all the other Scriptures that encourage us to persevere and endure. The kind of Scriptures like - 

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;struck down, but not destroyed.

and

Romans 5:3-4
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Problems have a way of applying the brakes to life. They slow us down some, but we are always itching to get back-up to "light speed". Why not change our perspective on The Race Of Life? Make your outlook on the speed of life as the Dromos or career length view. Bring your life's speed down to where you can see and appreciate all the people and events around you, then proceed from there. Pace thyself! 

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself ? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." -Luke 10:38-42

To Martha the preparations "HAD" to be made. The worker-bee in her has a good heart, however according to the Lord's response - 
(1) Martha was "worried and upset about many things", seemingly not just preparations for Jesus. 
(2) "only one thing is needed" - Jesus is the provider of all our needs. With all the miracles He had done and would do, I am sure Jesus could have provided a dinner-spread fit for a palace if both would have "chosen what is better"
(3) "Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." - Don't fault Mary for choosing wisely. Notice Jesus did not say that making preparations was bad, He said the choice to sit at the Lord's feet and listen to what He said was "better" and her reward is she gets to stay and hear my words!

Allow me to suggest some tools for slowing down to a point where you can get a handle on your pace of life. Meditate on God's Word and His creation. Drop the focus of you in this crazy rat race of life and pursue God's Word for your life. Also, seek a beautiful venue to visit and appreciate for a while. "Get out of Dodge" and "Stop-and-Smell-the-Roses" somewhere special. And if you are really adventurous try combining the two - meditate on God's Word in a remote, scenic location (i.e. mtns., beach, gardens, park, etc...).

Life does fly-by too fast for us NOT to try pacing ourselves at an appropriate speed to appreciate everything in The Race Of Life.