Skip to main content

The Crown

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither."  (C. S. Lewis)  I have frequently commented about each of us having an "aim" or "purpose" in this life - without one we are kind of set adrift without any real destination in mind. As Lewis said, when our aim is correct, we realize blessings beyond our imagining - when it is limited by what we can see in the natural sense, we might just not ever be able to enjoy all the things God wants us to experience. If I were to ask you what God wants you to experience today, what might you answer? If you could not really answer that, or you gave some "cookbook" kind of answer, you might just want to take a few moments to reconsider your aim - maybe it isn't high enough!

We all know that when there’s a race, all the runners bolt for the finish line, but only one will take the prize. When you run, run for the prize! Athletes in training are very strict with themselves, exercising self-control over desires, and for what? For a wreath that soon withers or is crushed or simply forgotten. That is not our race. We run for the crown that we will wear for eternity.  So I don’t run aimlessly. I don’t let my eyes drift off the finish line. When I box, I don’t throw punches in the air. I discipline my body and make it my slave so that after all this, after I have brought the gospel to others, I will still be qualified to win the prize. (I Corinthians 9:24-27 VOICE)

Are you a runner who bolts for the finish line, eager to get there, one prize in mind? I used to be that way - kind of headstrong and determined to get things done. I am not so much that way any longer - sometimes I need to step back and take in what is happening around me more than I need to make it across whatever "finish line" I have imposed. Far too many of us have our eyes set on earthly goals, all the while neglecting or forgetting the heavenly goals God has for each of us. Yes, God wants us to have an aim, but I don't think he wants these earthly aims to consume us to the point we neglect relationship with him or others. The most profound portion of this passage is the very last statement: "I will still be qualified to win the prize." In running, we can attain all kinds of prizes along the way. In making it across the finish line, we can win but one prize - the prize of having crossed the end point well.  

Unlike earthly races in which one wins and all others just "place" somewhere in the list of those who "finish", all of us will cross the finish line with Christ - all of us "winners" of the crown. As we run, our focus determines our drive - without a focus for the right goal, we can find ourselves stopping short of where God wants us to be. Lewis also said, " If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."  What is it that causes you to hunger or thirst? If it is something that things in this world can satisfy, might I suggest your hunger (and mine) is just not created by the right focus or aim.  When we find satisfaction in the things of this world, we are limiting the supreme satisfaction which God has prepared for us in his! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce