I view the Christian life like a race. Not like a simple foot race, more like a car race (I’m driving an Audi R8). And it isn’t like some Nascar race:
“Where do I go to get to the finish?”
I picture it like a chase scene in a movie. We’re flying down the road, avoiding potholes and obstacles, not even entirely sure where the finish is but trying to get there as fast as possible. It’s exciting, it’s intense, and it’s dangerous. There are a lot of ways to go wrong, but we have a great Navigator to guide us through.
We are called to be driven; to not live a lackadaisical life floating around without purpose. However, this does not mean that we are driven by or towards just anything. Too often we decide we are going to be driven by ourselves towards a fulfillment of our personal desires for comfort, safety, respect, attention, and power. Our end goals are to achieve a certain status, gain recognition, become wealthy, and to accumulate stuff. This is not the way the Bible calls us to be driven. This is what the Bible calls envy, greed, selfish ambition, vanity; also, sin.
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, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.
-Heb 12:1-2, ESV
If you look at the banner image for this blog, first glance would lead you to think it is a simple stock photo. However, my lovely and uber-talented wife Charmaine subtly adjusted the image – look at the road near the horizon. We are called to be driven by Christ towards the cross. As the writer of Hebrews says, we are to get rid of everything that is slowing us down and distracting us from the race and look ahead to Jesus, who left us a perfect example to follow and who sacrificed himself for us. He is the author and perfecter of our faith – he started us and he keeps us going. It isn’t about us, about our wants or desires or preferences. It’s about God, about His glory and what He did for us on the cross. As Paul tells us:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Crucifixion is capital punishment. We have been put to death. Our problem is that we keep trying to climb out of the casket! We keep going back to those old ways, those selfish, sinful tendencies that take over so easily. STAY DEAD! The life we live is no longer that old life, but life lived in and through Jesus Christ, our savior and sustainer, our author and perfecter, our navigator and our destination. The NIV says it well in its translation of Heb 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”
Earlier this year, Geoffry Mutai did something that got him a lot of attention. He ran 26 miles in the Boston Marathon. I could run 26 miles, so that doesn’t impress me a lot. What impresses me is that, while I would take several days to run 26 miles, Mutai did it in 2 hours and 22 minutes. That’s an average of over 11 miles an hour for over 26 miles. Slow and steady may be ok, but fast and steady is even better. Are you locked in to Jesus, and how hard are you running the race toward him?