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Archive for March, 2010

Finish Line

Monday, I went to a middle school track meet.  It wasn’t the olympics, of course, but it was fun to see the kids work at their level of competitiveness.  At that age some of them are just beginning to develop athletically, while a few have already peaked.  So, the differences between the athletes is huge.  For instance, in the 110 meter hurdles race the six-foot tall eighth grader finished two hurdles ahead of his much shorter peers.  That same disparity occured in long-jump, high jump, pole-vault, and track events.

Still it was fun to watch the races, even if you could pick winners before the starter fired his gun. I had a seat at the finish line and I saw speedsters cross victoriously while the slower runners simply crossed thankfully.  What was cool was the coaches did a fine job of keeping time on all runners and welcoming them all to the finish line.  The crowd was into it too.  We cheered for the talented and gasped when one girl fell during the hurdles, sighed as she got to her feet and (in our minds picked her up), and encouraged her to the finish line.  The way folks shouted, you’d have thought she won.

All this made me remember the wonderful imagery of Hebrews 12:1-2 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I ran track in school too, and I was never the great speedster.  As a Christian, I’m no superstar either.  But I get the message of Hebrews.  I get the message of the cross.  This race we call Christianity is worth running because it has a finish line that has already been Crossed by Jesus.  He’s the victor and He wants to share the gold medal with us.  So we keep running, cheered on by others.

Picked up, dusted off, running.

Jay

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Last week, a female cardinal nearly pecked her brains out on one of our windows at home.  Not only was the noise annoying, but I felt sorry for her. I tried to chase her away, but she came right back and resumed banging her head into the glass.  She would chirp, flutter up, and peck at the glass.  Perhaps it was her reflection she saw and wanted the “other” female out of her territory.  Perhaps she could see into our bedroom and wanted to build her nest in that secure place.  I don’t know.  If I did, if there was some way I could’ve helped her out, I would have.  She was so persistent.

Jesus told a story about a woman who, like the cardinal, was persistent.  Her rights were being trampled on.  She needed justice.  A godless judge finally yielded to her nagging and granted her cause.   Then, to make His point, Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18:7-8)

The cardinal is gone today.  Perhaps she found a better place to nest or realized the futility of her head-banging.  I know this God took care of the bird (see Matthew 6:26), and God wants to take care of you.

As  dear friend, mentor, pastor, evangelist BO Baker used to say, “Hangeth in there.”  God loves stubborn people.  Especially when you need justice.

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