STAY IN THE RACE!
As September mornings give way to the
coolness of Autumn, and the gold & orange leaves begin to cover the ground –
it puts me in mind of the natural “Seasons” of life, and the spiritual seasons
we all experience along the way.
Just about the time we get settled into our own
little ‘comfort zone’ and feel we have found where we ‘belong’ – change comes
to disrupt, and shake us out of the complacency we’ve settled into.
Think about it!
If you think that where you are today is ‘all there is’ – and that God has nothing more in store for you
- it would be easy to set down on the sidelines, and let the ‘game of life’
pass you by.
I was witness to my Dad doing just that. He was a
strong, healthy, busy man – eager to minister to others - up to age seventy-six
years of age. When it seemed to him
that his race was over, and purpose was done, he set down and waited for
death. He died within the year.
Looking back at his ‘Season” – I still wish he had
realized how many around him needed the wisdom and understanding he could have
“Where there is no vision my people perish.” The
word “perish” there means to ‘throw-off restraint’.
Paul said that we are in this life to “Run the Race” – and to “Obtain the prize.”
Sitting on the ‘sidelines’ – watching the runners
run, is NOT God’s will for you, at any stage of life, or for any believer!
Ø When you run a race you have the goal set before
Ø If you are a dedicated athlete, you train for months
before you run your first race.
Ø In every race, you put every ounce of strength you
have into it – until you reach the finish line.
Ø Across the finish line, some runners collapse, and
may even need assistance to get off the track; Others may dance around with
joy; some even take one last “victory lap” to show they truly are a champion.
The vision has ended, it is complete – and they have
thrown off all restraint and discipline.
For a moment, they have no goal.
If there had been no goal / no finish line in that
race… how could anyone have won? You
can’t run a race to win, unless you know where you’re going.
When we become complacent about the things of God,
the things He designed us to do… we have just stepped out of the race.
Oh, we can continue to mosey down the same track,
and perhaps even accomplish something along the way; however, if we allow the
distractions of life to steal our vision it will also rob us of our joy and
Hab 2;2-3 says that we need to “Write the Vision” and “keep it before us” – so that everyone who
sees it will know where they are going.
If you have no “goal”
or ‘finish line’ – there will be ‘no restraint’ – and there will be no ‘win’.
Keeping the vision alive - and in front of you lends
itself to the self-discipline and the character of a champion. It also keeps us ‘on course’.
Perhaps you are in a season where it appears that
the vision, and the purpose that God planted inside you is “impossible” - or “it’s
too late” – or that “God’s plan for you must have come to an end.” NOT!!!!!!!
Seasons come, and seasons go – But God’s purpose
continues! He may be taking you to a
new race… but He never leaves us without a race to run! A new season is just
another race to run!
GET BACK IN THE RACE!!
“Many are the plans in a mans mind, but it the Lord’s purpose for him
that prevails” Pr 19:21
My Great Nephew Miles Scott just started the first
grade. He’s not real excited about it!
He is in a new school with new kids, new teacher, and it’s quite different than
his year in kindergarten. So… should
his parents allow him to stay at home, or perhaps just let him stay with his
kindergarten teacher a few years, until he’s comfortable with the idea of
moving on? Well, of course not! They
want their son to grow and flourish, and to become all that he can be… all that
God designed him to be.
The Seasons of our life can be thought of in this
same way. “School” is never out, from
the time we take your first breath, until the time that breath leaves our body
for the last time – we are in school.
If we ‘cut class’ we will take that class over; if we decide we don’t
like the subject, and transfer to something easier - we will have to come back
to the moment we allowed rebellion to lay that subject down, and start over
again. There are usually a few “full-circle”
classes in our lives.
Twelve year old niece Marissa may be quite content
with the fifth grade this year, and could decide she just does not want to move
on to middle school next year. She may
decide that this will be her last year of school! * Laughing * because I am sure that I made this decision, when I was in the first grade! Of course, Marissa’s parents, and
the law of the land will not allow her to do that, but if it did… what would
Ø She would never achieve the potential that God has
planted in her.
Ø She would stop growing mentally & emotionally;
Ø When she is an adult, she would be considered
socially and mentally retarded.
Ø What could she achieve?
Ø Where would she succeed?
And the list could go on, and on.
The same is true with the “Seasons” of our
life. You may not like where you find
yourself right now – you may be outside your comfort zone; you may even feel
like you’ve been ‘benched.’ Seasons
come and seasons go – and that’s the way it’s going to be!
God loves His children with a greater love than we
can understand; when He determines that it’s time for us to ‘move up’ (to grow a bit) - He will not allow us
to remain in the comfort-zone of kindergarten.
Did ya’ll happen to see the movie
“Nell” with Jodie Foster? I understand
it is taken from a true story. A
perfectly healthy girl – who had never been far from home, had no education, no
people to learn from. She could not
speak, and appeared to be severely retarded; it was only because she had not
been taught, and had not grown mentally or emotionally. It’s sad, but that can
happen to our spiritual life as well.
When you find yourself in a new “Class” or “Season” –
embrace it! Run with it! And run to win!
Be ALL that your creator designed you to be.
If you find yourself in a new season, perhaps not
doing the things you’ve done for many years… rejoice! IT’S NOT OVER! IT’S JUST A NEW ADVENTURE!
GET UP! GET BACK IN THE RACE!
STAY IN THE RACE – AND WIN!
Shalom! Shine on for Jesus!