Servants of God need to learn to focus upon Him. We must daily seek God’s face. A man came upon three boys playing in the snow. He came up to them and asked, “Would you like to try a race and the winner wins a dollar?”
The boys said, “Yes,” and the man told them the race would be different. He said, “I will go to the other side of the field, and when I give you the signal, you start to run. The one whose footsteps are straightest in the snow will be the winner.”
So the race started, and the first boy watched his feet to make sure he was running as straight as possible. The second lad did the same. He watched his feet. The third boy, however, did something different. He ran with his eyes steadfastly fixed on the man at the other side of the field, and he won! Because he had kept his eyes on the goal ahead of him, his footsteps were straight in the snow, and he won the dollar.
Let’s concentrate on God and keep our eyes fixed on Him. He’s the only one who knows where we’re going.
Tags: focus, goal, priorities, race, snow
On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first man in history to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. Within two months, John Landy eclipsed the record by 1.4 seconds. On August 7, 1954, the two met together for a historic race. As they moved into the last lap, Landy held the lead. It looked as if he would win, but as he neared the finish he was haunted by the question, “Where is Bannister?” As he turned to look, Bannister took the lead. Landy later told a Time magazine reporter, “If I hadn’t looked back, I would have won!”
Jesus told his disciples, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Your past life is in the past. Don’t look back. You have started the race, now finish it!
Remember the movie Chariots of Fire? In it, just before the first turn in a 400-meter race, Eric Liddell was shoved off balance, and he stumbled onto the infield grass. When he looked, he saw the others pulling away. With a look of intense determination, Eric jumped to his feet, and with his back cocked and his arms flailing he rushed ahead. He was determined not only to catch up with the pack but to win. And he did!
That was a true story from real life history. And that was the kind of fervor that the apostle Paul brought to his ministry. In 1 Corinthians 9:24 he said, “Do not you know that those who run in a race all run, but [only] one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”
You are striving for the gold! If you get pushed aside and fall behind, get back up, get determined, and go get the prize!
Tags: commitment, determination, race
There’s been a lot in the news about Professor Gates and Officer Crowley lately. Even President Obama got into the act, saying the officer acted “stupidly”, and inviting them both to the White House for a beer. The news media has hyped this small incident up into a fever. Was Officer Crowley unfair to Gates because he was black, or did Professor Gates ramp up the encounter as an “educational tool”?
Being raised in a small Indiana town, I had absolutely no contact with any blacks as a child. My first experience around them was in Basic Training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Two black soldiers stick out in my mind. The first was Private Corley, a sharp, athletic young man from Chicago. He excelled at everything we did and came out as the top soldier in my company. Everyone liked him. Then there was Private Armour, also from Chicago. He was a big, overweight, dim witted guy who hated whites and the Army. He was finally hauled off to the stockade for having smuggled a fifth of whiskey into his locker.
My first military assignment was to work in Post Headquarters at Fort Knox, during the height of the Vietnam War. There were a lot of brass working in that office building, but I don’t remember one black person of any rank working there. Perhaps that was racial profiling in itself.
My next assignment was to work in an espionage unit headquartered in Augsburg, Germany, during the Cold War. One of the men working in my office was a black man from New Jersey (I think), whose name was John. He was educated and his father was serving as a State Senator back home. We became good friends. Back then, the common white term for blacks was “colored”. Whenever anyone would refer to a “colored man”, he would interrupt and ask “What color”? And he pressed the issue until the offender backed down. He insisted we use the term “black”. My respect for black people as equals came from my experience with him and Private Corley. I think too many of us stereo-type all blacks as Private Armours.
What is your personal experience with someone of another race?