What do you do when you feel like a hound? If you're wise, you still attempt to get up and run. Yet how do we do that very thing - how do we "get up and run" the race toward Jesus when our busyness makes us feel so slothful? I have some ideas:
1. Recognize that running the race is living the LIFE.
To be a Christian is to live in grace (Praise God!), but grace leads us into Christian training - training in God's Word. This takes effort - we have to admit - and there are times when we get exhausted. Keep running. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2. Remember, many will try to trip you up, and when you trip . . . GET UP!
We're in Galatians on Sunday mornings, and this blog comes from Galatians 5:7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
One of the Apostle Paul's favorite images comes from athletics. We see it in 2 Corinthians 9 and 2 Timothy 4 (check those out!). In Galatians Paul uses the image briefly, but it is a powerful image nonetheless. The Galatians had been "running well." They had been going the right direction and running the right way (living the Christian life by means of faith in Jesus Christ, rather than living under law), but someone had tripped them up. So let's face it: we're probably going to trip now and then. We're not perfect. We haven't arrived. That's okay, but we need to GET UP and run the race.
3. Don't run alone.
Those hounds in the picture? They're running together, and when Paul writes to the Galatians, he wants them to run with him as well. Paul was a great man, but he needs the Galatians to get down the beach. Simply put, Paul needs the encouragement of his friends. Come to think about it . . . so do you and so do I.
So do you have a partner? Do you have someone who can encourage you in your Christian race? Please don't run this race alone.
Hmm . . . this is an image I'm probably going to have to return to . . .