[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.