"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
I saw this on one of those true life television shows one night and it brought to mind how careful we need to be with our walk in the Lord.
It was a clear afternoon with blue skies and white marshmallow clouds after several days of dreary rain… the type that causes a damp uncomfortable chill you can’t shake. The young couple looked forward to basking in the sun while meandering along the river in their individual rubber rafts as Nancy’s dog, Taffy, sat on her lap. This was a time they often enjoyed together. They’d drift until they were several yards from the 12 foot drop-off where they would turn around and paddle back. They did not notice until they drew nearer to the drop-off that the past several days of rainfall had deepened the usually shallow, gentle river causing it to have stronger currents. Though still much further from the undesirable descent than they usually wandered, the waters began to swirl and guide the rafts. Considering themselves experienced and skilled rafters, as well as knowing the river as they did, this was of little concern as they started to counter the tugging current to turn back. Shortly they were distracted as Taffy did not like the sensation of the bobbing raft and jumped out. Without thinking Nancy jumped in after her. Finding the current was much more powerful than she had imagined, Nancy struggled with all her might only to be plunged down the waterfall into the raging waters and massive rocks below. Nancy’s boyfriend in trying to reach her, also plummeted as did Taffy.
From here I could tell you a happy ending or a sad tragic one… neither is the point of the story. Thus I choose to let you ponder creating your own ending. Then imagine the story as a parable, apply it to yourself and decide what your ending would be.
Is your walk with the Lord so comfortable that you just drift along without much thought? Do you allow distractions to keep you from noticing where the current is taking you? Is there something in your life that as a Christian pushes you to the edge of where you should be but yet you are so confident in your abilities to stay on track that you allow the challenge or momentary pleasure to enter your life… maybe on a regular basis? Allowing yourself to get a little bit closer and closer being confident that you will not be pulled over the edge.
All it takes is one moment of distraction, a bit of overconfidence and you may be thrust into a current that you do not have the strength to struggle against. Or you could survive it, but how long will you need to recuperate to regain your health? Maybe you will be permanently damaged by the fall.
Our God, the great Potter, has had to shape, mold and pound me into His design because I am so often guilty of drifting in waters that have dangerous potential thinking I was in control. I’ve fallen in a few times and came out dripping wet, at times struggled to exhaustion, and even have plunged over the edge. My God has been gracious and I have survived but there are scars and aches and pains that remain. I use those as reminders that if I did not let myself be distracted, stayed focused on my Lord, they would not be there. It helps me keep my focus. My prayer now is that the Lord will open my eyes to see the underlying currents that may be hidden by what appears to be a gentle surface.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
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