Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Wrecking the Car

Wrecking the Car
by David Brenneman 

Being distracted behind the wheel these days is oh so easy.  Our vehicles move at speeds that the human brain isn't really comprehending.  The weight of these vehicles isn't part of the equation for those who do choose to drive recklessly.   

Add to it the truth that our brains cannot deal with multiple split second decisions. A text that comes in beckons a response while the vehicle travels at 65 miles per hour.  Distances longer than a football field are covered in the seconds people take to respond and someone dies.  Never understanding what just happened. 

People blame other things but what the cause actually was.  Human beings causing problems for other human beings. 

We cannot drive distracted, what makes us think we can live distracted?

If we keep looking at the past, our life's rear view mirror, we will miss the importance of the present. We will be ill prepared for the immediate future or the distant future.  Everything from memories of others or other places other things can flood our minds.  Some spend inordinate amounts of time, energy and effort to recapture the past, only to miss out on the things of the here and now. 

A life in Christ is meant to be in the here and now with a view towards the future, the finish line that we're to be racing towards. We have been told in the Scriptures to run the race as to win the prize. 

Those in a race ARE running for the purpose to achieve the goal of that race, to cross the finish line well.  

Paul taught to lay aside every encumbrance. Everything that weighs us down.  Every thought that distracts.  

I have repeatedly seen a video of a phenomenal comeback of a runner in a competition.  Several laps in and a competitor caught just enough of her foot to cause her to trip and down she went.  Rather than giving up, she got up, and took off.  She could have lamented her situation.  Could have just walked off the track. Could have said things or done something towards the one who ruined her race.  But she didn't. She was focused on that prize, to finish well, no matter what.  So she took off.  Competitor after competitor, she began passing people.  Her time kept getting better.  She passed her teammate.  Then won the race at the last step.  Literally by an outstretched leg.

Focused running of a race in spite of that obstacle.  A lesson for us about running this race called life.

Paul taught us to be focused. To run with endurance the race set before us.  To focus on what matters concerning what's needed to win.  Satan's trying to get Believers and the unbelieving to keep trying to grab souvenirs to hang on our running outfit.  To get us to put on backpacks and load them up.  To grab luggage on wheels to put more into.  

He wants to slow us down, to distract everyone from realizing the importance of finishing well.  

What are you being distracted by?  Don't lie to yourself and say that you are not.  Nobody who's in this life gets out alive. 
Everyone is in the fight of their lives. 
Believers are at war with the forces of Satan whether they acknowledge it or not.
Unbelievers are being blinded by the god of this world to stay away from the truth that can save them in Christ Jesus.  

Our past is the easiest place for Satan's attacks.  He plays on our emotions to get us to stumble, but will we get back up and keep running?  He convinces us through our emotions to make choices to walk away from God's calling in our lives.  Some, even think that those choices are from God when they certainly are not because they are not representing God well in them.  

God's got a specific, special, plan for us in Christ Jesus to run this race called life and to finish it well.   It's going to take determination in word, in deeds, in thoughts, emotions, prayer, to run with purpose and endurance.  It's going to take running in the present moment with the right heart attitude.  With the right frame of mind.  As someone said the past is a reminder, not a prison sentence.  It isn't there to define our lives. 

Are you running this race called life with the purpose of winning?  Are you removing things from your life that aren't helping you run well?  

Satan's going to use every bit of knowledge about what we think we "love" in order to get us to willingly pick up something from this world that will inevitably slow us down.  And he will get us to convince ourselves that what we have embraced from this world isn't a bad thing!  

The whole armor of God in Ephesians 6 isn't meant to be casual wear.   Really think about that.  Really consider what Paul wrote about our battle not being against flesh and blood.  Temptation is at our doorstep no different than it was at Peter's.  Satan would love to sift every single Believer.  He know more about us than we do.  He knows what memories will harm us the most.  He knows how a little distraction goes a long way. 

He doesn't tire nor does he take breaks.  

What's this to say?  Be alert, be set on the race set before us.  Keep the distractions to a minimum.  Let go of things like the past.  Ask God to reveal His plan and purpose for your life.  You were born in this here this now for a specific reason in Christ Jesus.  His workmanship in you goes much easier when we want what Jesus wants for us, in us and through us.

The longer we focus on the rear view mirror the more we miss what's in front of us.  We miss recognizing the blessings of God. We miss the friendships He's brought. We miss the lives we are meant to impact.  The more baggage we carry from this world the less we can see, the lessening of our impact on others. 

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?  

Paul admonishes us to lay aside every single thing that can be an encumbrance. 
To put off the old self and its practices. 
To put on Christ. 

To run as to trying to win the prize.  To hear Jesus say "Well done!" as we cross the finish line. 

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