[no sloppy living]

[no sloppy living]

My youth pastor had a series of sermons on the Types of Christians. One of those types was the one who perseveres till the end (granted, another guy preached about it, but it was still the sermon from the series).

There was a passage that we read all together that I don’t think I ever noticed before (perhaps it was due to the fact that I only read it in Russian and I sometimes have trouble with understanding Bible in Russian…)… So…

I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

1 Corinthians 9:26, 27 MSG

Paul’s last phrase: I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

It was a punch to the gut.

I read it and re-read it… And the effect didn’t minimize. Instead, it increased.

I remembered the time when I was Ms. Know-It-All without personal relationship with God. All these years since May 9, 2,000, I am still struggling often to understand what is going on and how to live my life according to His will. However, the choice was made. I didn’t want to simply know everything, I wanted to know Him. I wanted to understand Him (oh, how often I still don’t get His ideas and actions… even when I know they are perfect for the situation at hand.)

But it’s easy to get laid-back again and enjoy what I already know. 

It’s easy to be content with running half-way and then simply walking till the end of the race.

It’s easy to be content with being good and not bother with trying to be better.

Paul reminds Corinthians (and us), however, that we cannot simply rest. There will be time for resting later. Right now, we’ve got a race.

My friends tell me that I know a lot. Perhaps, I do. Maybe not – there are so many people who are ways smarter than me. Yet the more I know, the more I discover there is to know. And the more I know, the more I wish I didn’t know so much and could be like a kid – simply trusting without having to analyze all the data.

Knowledge is useful, however I don’t want to simply be content with knowing. As much as my introvert self protests, I want to be there, in the middle of the action, running along with my friends. Helping them when they need help, yet not simply cheering for them on the sidelines.

Because you cannot really know what it’s like from sidelines. 

And only those who run have a chance to win.

  • This is something I can definitely relate to. A lot of my friends (and my wife) tell me that I’m smart and that I know a lot. I insist, though, that it doesn’t mean much, and I didn’t do anything to deserve or earn the intelligence that I have. 

    Finishing strong, though, is also something I have a hard time with. Mainly because I’m a great starter. Also, most things come easily to me, so when I actually have to work to finish something, I don’t want to. I’m a bum. This I know.

    • Most things come easily to me, so when I actually have to work to finish something, I don’t want to. – hah, been there, done that. You’re not alone in that regard.

      Yet… in this case, we better finish the race 🙂

  • Joanne Norton

    Being a “know it all” isn’t as important as being a “hear it all.”  One of my main goals is to hear what the Lord is saying to me when I need to know where to go, HOW to go, who to approach.  If I get busy working at home or doing what I want to when I want to, I can miss His “call”.  For me, that’s just about the worse that happens.  We live in intense and serious times… and I believe it is going to get worse … so we need to pay attention to His directions to us.  Can’t know all the Word all the time, but CAN recognize the Voice of my Lord and keep moving forward in the race.

    Wisdom is definitely blooming in your spirit.

    • Being a “know it all” isn’t as important as being a “hear it all.” – I love this. 

      Thanks, Joanne!

  • Mary

    Zee, as usual you raise a lot of points. There is a dfference between scientific knowledge and spiritual knowledge. I would see them both as valid enterprises but differing in method and other ways. A spiritual path is not theoretical; it requires our full participation on every level. This will lead to knowledge, but not merely theoretical knowledge. It will be lived experience.

    • Lived experience – YES! – we cannot simply know this kind of stuff theoretically. It will be utterly useless that way.

      Thanks, Mary. 

      Btw, heard that there are floods in Australia – you OK?

      • Mary

        Yes Australia has had terrible floods, but not in Sydney.

        • Good to know that you’re okay 🙂 Keeping Australia in my prayers. 

          • Mary

            Thanks Zee, keep praying because there are still floods and lots of damage. Overnight there has been flooding in some parts of western Sydney.

            I have heard that Ukraine has been badly affected by the cold weather.

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