It’s getting close to the end of school, summer break, all that good stuff, and it’s hard to stay focused and motivated. Not just with school either, with everything! Work, chores, SATs, this blog, there’s something about summer that slows everything down and makes it hard to accomplish much of anything. These things may seem small, but since we are representing Christ 24/7 everything we do should be done for His glory.
BUT… we have to anyways. Not just because the world’s still spinning and life goes on, but also because we have a whole race ahead of us! Our lives as Christians are a never-ending race that’s approximately 78 years long. So, if you were hoping for an easy life, an easy summer, and easy blog to read, this is not it.
Sure there are seasons of life that are more restful, more slow-paced, less demanding. But we will always have a responsibility to our King to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This means we have to humble ourselves to be servants, dedicate ourselves to hard work, and fix our eyes on Jesus because whether we acknowledge it or not we are always representing Him. Sounds exhausting but oh so fulfilling.
How do we run the good race that’s so often mentioned in the Bible? With perseverance. How do we get the perseverance necessary to run a lifelong race that’s glorifying to God? God gave us those instructions in Hebrews 12:3 when He said “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
We persevere by considering Christ’s own perseverance through suffering. I know that I’m much less burdened by having to get out of bed and do my homework when I’m picturing my Savior hanging on the cross. It’s not quite so difficult to run through some SAT practice when I think on Jesus’s full weight hanging by the nails that pierced His hands and feet. I’m suddenly motivated to write this week’s blog when I meditate on how Jesus was crowned with thorns so I could receive an imperishable crown.
Obviously God isn’t too concerned about our happiness if He’s telling us to focus on these gruesome realities of what He sent His Son to do. He is concerned about our holiness. He wants us to be holy because He is holy so that in acting in a Christ-like manner He is glorified. That’s what this life is all about! Holiness is being set apart, devoted, dedicated and consecrated to God. Holiness is putting everything we have into representing Christ in the short time we have on earth. Holiness is being perseverant in a sluggish world.
Life isn’t about happiness, it’s about holiness. So, as summer approaches and the strong temptation to become stagnant sinks in, don’t take it lightly, don’t accept it, and certainly don’t embrace it. Certainly there’s a time for rest, without it we wouldn’t survive, but during a race you don’t curl up and nap in the middle of a road. You might slow to a jog or a walk but you wouldn’t stop altogether.
Run the good race for the rest of your life with the perseverance that comes from meditating on Christ’s sacrifice. The finish line is the fulfillment of God’s promise of an imperishable crown and an eternity with Him. Worth it.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).