Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Running a race, or...

I want to start with an exchange of thoughts I had as I read one of my incoming e-mails this morning. First, my response, and then the thoughts that prompted it:

"Amy, you may have to forgive me, but when I read the following, it was as though a tear was forming in my eye.

After 84+ years of life, almost 40 of which have been dedicated to my Lord and Savior, I find that "strolling casually" is the better pace for most of us.  It has nothing to do with my age, it has everything to do with my observation with the Christian "walk" as it is being revealed, daily.  I have to doubt that the writer of Hebrews had in mind, the frenetic preparation leading to racing as we know it in these times.

Behind our eyes and ears as we pass along the way, our mind is taking into consideration everything that is observed and serves as a reminder when we miss what we ought to be reflecting on as we pass by.  In my "early" life, my elders urged me to succeed, whatever the cost, and I swallowed that advice like the hungry little pigs I had observed when growing up on the farm.  So it was that I stayed "busy" and missed out on much of the life that I now believe, the Lord had in store for me.

Those are not noises that tend to irritate us, but reminders that we are but one among the billions of others on our planet.

Some say, "Slow down and smell the roses."   I prefer to suggest that as we slow down and take into consideration all that God ha provided to each one of us, we will begin to appreciate our "true" inheritance.

Sherwood MacRae

Amy had written:

"We often find ourselves strolling casually through life, many times doing things for God on the way - serving in our churches, helping others, occasionally reading God's word. That is not necessarily wrong, but we seem to have forgotten something important.

According to Hebrews 12:1, our life is a race, not a quiet stroll.  We forget the urgency with which we're supposed to pursue God, His kingdom, and the lost.  We don't focus on a goal, or we lose sight of the ones we once had.  And a great many of u have been out of the race so long, we're sadly out of shape."

So, lace up your sneakers.  This week, we're going to learn to RUN."

Back to Sherwood...  I like Amy, I love her because of what she does as the "editor" (I believe) of an interesting Christian effort to encourage Believers.  It's called - Zookeepers Ministries.

And we all need encouragement.  That is why one of my more favorite characters in the Bible is the man, Barnabas.  In the scriptures, he is known as the "Son of Encouragement".  We need more Barnabas' in our world, where we live, today.

But I don't like Amy's attempts to get us to get into the race, to win.

I have already won.  It happened almost 40 years ago.  Although I had been a church member for almost 45 years, I was still ignorant of what the Bible has to say about - me!  I had typically thought it was the other guys and gals.  I thought I was good and from what I had seen and heard in church, it was those others who would not listen.

It took awhile for me listening to finally hear that my salvation was secured, long before I was even considered to be a possibility.  As a matter of fact, I grew up believing I was a mistake.  My father had wanted a daughter so much that they had even named "her" - Shirley, after the movie star, Shirley Temple.  It took me decades to get over that thought.

Worse, I grew up ignoring my little sister who eventually arrived.   Ignoring is a kind word, I just did not like her because we were separated and we were adults before we ever got to really know one another.  What a shame!   Today, she is my inspiration  and we seem to have become, "two peas out of the same pod".

I learned to run a race.  She learned how to serve others.  What a difference. 

Now, we are heading into eternity, arm in arm, and heart to heart and I have to believe that is what life is all about.  We are integral parts of the family of God.

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