Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Goal and The Race

Seneca Rocks
Since I finished Lighten the Darkness as a devotional resource during Advent, I'm looking for new resource.  I picked up Nouwen's Here and Now this morning.  I picked up where I left off the last time I read it, and started reading.

The chapter is about Disciplined Living (Not a bad chapter to start with when one is looking for a new resource for a discipline!).  Read this passage:
Do you not know that in a race the runners all complete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.
He used an analogy of an Olympics table tennis match, and how determined each competitor was to win the game.  As I write this, the temperature outside is 0 degrees, and the Winter Olympics are fast approaching; it was an image that stuck in my mind.

What is the race?  What are we running toward? My first response is to think Paul meant life with God - that the goal is life with God.  Does that sound right?  I think so, and I think it is a goal that we don't always keep in mind; at least, my focus on it is not always clear.  My first take away message from the devotional I read this morning is that - to keep my focus clear on the goal.

Secondly, Nouwen is amazed by the determination of those who were playing table tennis, and by the joy on the face of the winner.  Do we invest that kind of energy in meeting the goal that we have set?  So often I sit down to do a devotional reading, and I just rush through it, because my goal isn't to grow as I read it, but instead to finish it as quickly as I can. I wonder what would happen if I consistently redirected my energy to reach the goal I'm trying to reach.

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