"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." - Eph. 5:15-17
It's a new year.
That happened so fast.
It always does, I guess.
Truth is, "the grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass." 70 years go by and the baby shower and the bridal shower and the funeral become pictures in an album in a dusty attic. Remaining is the question which has haunted so many on their deathbed:
What was all that about? What was it for?
What a waste.
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It has been said that every runner has two great fears. The first; he fears finding himself spent before he has reached the finish line; whether by lack of training or by overzealous exertion, he cannot finish the race. The second; he fears reaching the end of the race successfully, gleefully crossing the finish line, his laborious task complete- and then realizing, in the pit of his stomach-
"I could have done more."
Of course, we are all are runners in a race far more important than one of meters and finish lines. Every year that ticks past is another mile marker. But, in this race, we cannot stop. The race will be run. The mile markers will continue to fly past- even if we are sitting still.
We cannot stop, but we can fail; we cannot rest, but we can slow to a walk; we cannot give up, but we can give in.
We can run. Fighting and clawing and climbing and reaching and sprinting and jumping and panting breathlessly. We can run in such a way as to win the prize. We can run a race that will stand the test of time, for though this race is run by every person, it is only conquered by a few.
As children of the King, we have been given a marvelous opportunity. A breath of life- a window of time, swiftly closing- an epic journey which lasts for the blink of an eye- and the chance to take that momentary blade of grass which is ours and throw it into the great and eternal blaze of The Kingdom of God.
That we, here today and gone tomorrow, should be given the title of ambassadors for The King Who was, Who is, and Who is to come; that we, the dust of the earth, could become bricks in the construction of a celestial Kingdom; that the leprous and sick cesspool of sin and evil which is us should be chosen, redeemed, called, transformed, into the spotless bride of the Son of God- oh, what a marvelous opportunity is ours!
For we are not lost and losing in a race which can only leave us defeated. We are more than conquerors; the race is ours, and is ours to win, and our victory is not one of hollow applause and trophies which tarnish and medals which collect dust and are forgotten. We have been given a Kingdom to live for- and to die for. These moments which we call lifetimes can be invested in eternity. Our death will come in the blink of an eye, but our legacy can become a part of forever.
If we are faithful.
Will we be faithful? Will we run with patience the race set before us? Will we fill every "unforgiving minute with 60 seconds of distance run?" Will we pant, and scrape, and sweat, and bleed, and weep, and laugh, and run, and come to the end of our race, breathless and amazed and victorious? Or will we take our glorious birthright and trade it in for a mess of pottage? Will we walk when we should have run, smile when we should have laughed, turn our eyes when we should have wept, be clean when we should have been soaked in mud and sweat and blood?
When our race is over, will we cross the finish line knowing that we could have done more?