RUN THE RACE

Have you ever competed in a race? I have! In the event you want to try to relive that race, I will not accommodate your desires, except to say I did not acquire (attain) my aspirations. I also concluded that running was not my forte.

The Apostle Paul, writing to his “son in the faith” Timothy, relates how the Christian life is likened to a race, and there is reason to follow the rules if (one is) determined to be a winner. Rules are made to be kept. (2 Timothy 2:5)

Our friends were visiting recently and we, in conversation, were sharing stories. She related how on one occasion she was watching her father and three brothers compete in a go cart race. Their successful team did not include a driver for a new ladies (Powder Puff) race, so they proceeded to convince her to participate – even though she had never raced (and barely driven a cart before). She was willing to try it out – after a brief explanation of the simple workings of the cart and was placed in row two, inside.

The race started well until, on the first corner, someone hit her back wheel and sent her careening through the tires delineating the track into the “No Man’s Land” inside the track. Realizing she had been “bumped” and that it was not her mistake, she continued on the path of the trajectory of her cart, deciding to continue across the inside of the course to re-enter the track on the far side – thus cutting off half of the first lap. She re-entered the track on the far side realizing she was now in the lead and that would “teach her bumper a lesson!” As she came around for completing the first lap, the crowd was on its feet shouted wildly and she briefly glanced at the area where her Pit Crew stood, and saw that they were also seemingly quite excited about her first race for them, and were “hosting” a growing crowd from the other Pit Crews. She thought they were egging her on and enthusiastically continued her race – “pedal to the medal” – remaining in the lead for the duration of the race. (In actuality, her father and brothers were laughing so hard about her faux pas, and the effect it had on the competition, that it might come across as encouragement from one who could not hear what was being shouted.) Not knowing the rules of go-kart racing (that you re-enter the course at the place of exit) was a problem for her, but not for the policing crowd watching this illicit turn of events.

Life is filled with illicit “racers”(of all kinds) and the raucous crowds are causing such a distraction that people are oblivious to realize that sometimes the crowd’s “enthusiasm” that they are interpreting as being a cheer for victory, is actually shock and outrage at the unexpected and illicit turn of events. Such confusion!

There is a right and a wrong way (to do many things). Ignorance of the rules will not justify our (one’s) stupidity. Jesus said that He was (/is) the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no man could come to the Father, except through HIM. (John 14:6) No matter what we or our friends do that misleads us, the rules are the final word.

God’s Word is unmistakable. Other factors may cause us to be misled, but not the inspired and authoritative Word of God. He has spoken and His Word, the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, presents our need: We are sinners by nature and by choice; subservient to it and to Him is the only way to win the race that is set before us.

“AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

(Acts 2:21)

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