I’m a terrible runner. I’m not fast, an asthmatic to boot, and I prone to overheat, which means living and running in Florida is a bit of a challenge. But my biggest problem with running is keeping my eye fixed on the goal. 1 mile. Lap number 4. Song 10 on the playlist. Whatever it is; I end up looking at my lack of speed…am I wheezing?…gosh it’s hot…am I supposed to sweat this much?…and I stop. I make myself feel better by still walking, but I gave up. I lost sight of the goal.
This truth is biblical too. It’s one that God has been pounding in my heart and head for the last couple of weeks. It was in my Philippians bible study (3:12-14), it’s popped up in cross references, in Sunday School and Service and now, in Embracing Obscurity; it’s there too.
How can the Holy Spirit work in and through us when we’ve buried Him chest-deep in the trinkets and souvenirs we’ve collected in this life? Asceticism isn’t the answer (Jesus was certainly no ascetic). No, the antibiotic for affluenza is a serum of one part simplicity, one part humility, and one hundred parts Christlikeness. Christ is our pattern in all things, including our view of earthly paraphernalia.
Anonymous (2012-09-20). Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything (pp. 79-80). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Christlikeness. So often I substitute the true goal for something “safer”, “good”, or “nice”. I forget the truths found in Colossians 3:3-4: For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears….
The goal of my life is not being a good, god-fearing mom. It’s not being a loving, respecting and honoring wife. It’s not being a good writer, or a good friend, or a diligent worker. My goal is to be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom 8:29). I am to be holy, as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). I am to “count all as loss because of His worth…to know Him….becoming like Him…pressing on to the goal” (Phil 3:8-14). Conformity to Christ IS my goal. That is the lens I should view everything else; I’m a god-fearing mom not for my glory but for His and the effectual working of grace in my children. I’m an honoring wife not because my husband is perfect but because God is and as He sacrificed and gave Himself for me, so I should be willing to do so for my husband. My writing, my friendship, my work, my money, my objects, my “stuff”…if not useful for His glory there is no value in it. Worse, if I skew my viewing of the goal into thinking one or many of these things are goal-worthy; I have created an idol. How easily this can be done! And how merciful is He who’s gospel reminds me, bids me…repent and believe. Repent of the idol. Repent of the wrong goal. Die to self. Believe in My grace. Believe in My Son. Live in Christ.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)