What would it look like for all the church denominations to come together for a worldwide peaceful competition? Around Easter we would have Sword Drills, Speed Quizzing, and 400 Verse Hurdle while around Christmas we have the Doctrinal Slope, Cultural Relevance Sparring, and Creative Worship Exercises. Okay, that would be all fun and games, but really, how hard would we train for something like that? What if it inhibited our daily lives?
This was a verse that came up for me today on Bible Gateway – Philippians 1:21:
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
And that challenged me. Because God pushed me to pray more today, and give up something fun to help myself remember: snacks. But I’m going to be with my friends, and I’ll look weird, and it will hurt our community, and I really want m’n’ms!
But I already have this community – and will the fun of one night be what I remember, or maybe how a prayer of one night was answered? It is the long-term outlook…like the Olympians who never skip leg day or let “life” get in the way of their goals. And every one who competes has drilled a thousand times, run hundreds of laps, swum a million strokes, shot a hundred drills, and they keep doing it on great days and “off” days.
What if I took my walk with God that seriously? What would that do for the Christian community? How would that inspire other Christians around the world- no matter what “denomination”? How far will I go for that community? Is there anything that is really worth holding onto that is weighing me down?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
God, please help me to not stop for trivial things. I get so tired of drills…I would rather cheer on the sidelines than compete. But sometimes You call us to compete and stand out and live with a different goal than the rest of the world. And that is so cool! It is powerful to have a vision of something different, something better, and You promise so much more than any set of medals I could earn. God, please help me with endurance to the finish line, and help me to keep pressing on towards You. To You be the glory in the race! Amen.