By Pastor Andy Plank
Running the Race . . .
July 31, 2022 . . .
Earlier this morning, I was looking up a Scripture for someone and left my Bible sitting open on my desk. A few minutes later, I picked the Bible up to close it and my eyes fell across this paragraph. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore, I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus, I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” I Corinthians 9:24-27 NKJV
The third sentence jumped out to me. A couple of other words for temperate are disciplined and balanced. When I read this paragraph and pondered over it for a bit, I couldn’t do anything except look up into the heavens and say, “You got me, Lord.” For the most part, self-discipline and balance are a problem for me. By balance I don’t mean being able to stand up without falling down (although that can be a challenge as well). I mean even-keeled. I tend to jump into things a hundred miles per hour but then, I see something else and switch directions and go a hundred miles per hour that way, and then, well, you get the picture. By the end of the day, I have three hundred twenty projects going and none of them finished. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one challenged with this issue. The crazy part is, I know I should be focused and disciplined. The concept isn’t difficult; it’s the execution that gets me. Maybe it gets you as well. Here are a couple of ideas. What if instead of jumping in at a pace of a hundred miles per hour, we slow down long enough to be sure we are even running in the right race. In other words, is what we are about to begin the most important or critical thing we need to do right now? Then we need to work at a pace that doesn’t burn us out but at the same time keeps us moving toward the finish line. Finally, and most importantly, let’s ask God to help us and lead us and teach us to be disciplined enough to reach the finish line in a worthy manner.
Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy