17/03/2021 by Rev Doug Walker 0 Comments
Where Are You Running?
As seen in the "The Heartbeat" and published in the Hot Springs Village Voice
Where Are You Running?
We seem to be in a race no matter what we are doing. “On the contrary,” you might respond, “I don’t run anymore.” Maybe not figuratively, but why do we use phrases to depict ourselves in a race? We are in a “rat race.” We are part of the “human race.” We “race to the store,” are “running against the clock,” and “feel like I’ve been running in place all day long!” These are all metaphors, but do they have some validity.
I propose we are all “running” either to something or away from something. Most set their sights on retirements, vacations, or that elusive scratch golf score, and make efforts to achieve them. But conversely speaking, we can also say we move away from people who would do us harm, negative environments, or for some the multi-foot snows of the north! Rarely do we sit in one place for long, and soon we are moving to the next appointment or activity.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the unsettled church in Corinth with these words: “Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who completes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” Was Paul trying to get them moving, or maybe moving in the proper direction? I believe it was the latter.
The church was allowing different kinds of teachings which were not in line with the teachings of Jesus, and exactly who Jesus was (and is). He was using athletic competitions as an example, as olympic-style games had been occurring in the region for nearly 800 years. They understood training for a purpose and competing in events. Paul wanted them to train their spiritual walk by “exercising” in accordance with the Word, and as competitions would have had rules, use this same mindset when trying to introduce false teachings into their spiritual exercising!
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” With all the stress and struggles, both physical and mental of these past twelve months, we might “feel like we’ve been running in place all year long” making no headway at all. It’s in times like these in which we truly need to get up and begin to run – specifically to Christ. We need to call on the Holy Spirit to “run” with us daily, encouraging us to keep the faith, stay in the Christian “training” which is the Word, and run as if we will win the prize. When we run, we should keep our eyes on the finish line and ignore the distractions along the path trying to slow us down or get us to give up.
In this rat race, I think the best place we can run to is to Jesus!