Week Two – Day 4
TODAY’S FAST - Fast from All Junk Foods, Desserts, Sweets, and Sodas
Competition and sports have always been a big part of the human experience. It seems that my kids have wanted to wrestle even before they could walk. Across cultures and throughout history there has always been competition. I think it is ingrained in our nature because it teaches us a way of processing the events of life. Sometimes we win; sometimes we lose. Winning a competition has a way of instilling self-worth and value to our existence; it shows us that our contribution is significant. Losing shows us that preparing is perhaps more important than competing. It also shows us that even at our best, there are ways in which we can be overcome and this fosters humble perspective. It’s no surprise then, that the pages of Scripture use the concept of athletics to teach us something about how the Gospel works in our lives.
Running is certainly an appropriate way to describe our lives. We “run on empty,” we “run like chickens with our heads cut off,” or we feel like we are always “running out of cash.” The act of running has become a way to describe our anxiety and stress, our schedules, and our fatigue. It seems to be the common plight of everyone we know: too much to do and too little time. We have mistaken activity for contribution. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 reminds us that many people are running in no particular direction and for no particular reason. But for those who know Jesus, we are obligated to run with purpose—not the purpose of so many people who are running after wealth, pleasure, and power, but to run in pursuit of our Lord.
Pray that God would direct your life’s steps. Pray that you would run after Him with great purpose and meaning. Pray that your life’s race will bring glory to Him.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV