Let me introduce you my sweet son Jacob. Jacob is a determined guy, to say the least. He gets an idea in his head, and once that idea has taken root in his brain, he won't let go of it. Sometimes he's obsessed with the idea. This quality in my son drives me crazy, at times. He talks, and talks, and talks...about something that may likely never become a reality. In some circumstances this determination is a strength. In others, it can be his downfall.
Well, Jacob has gotten it into his head that there is going to be a race at school. He doesn't know when. He doesn't know where. He just knows (or thinks) there is going to be a race amongst the boys, and he is determined to be ready. He's been running with the Wii. He's been running around the couches. He tries to 'work out' at least once a day in preparation for that big day. He wants to run. And he wants to win.
Now, if you don't know Jacob, he's not exactly built like an athlete. He is average height...and well, let's just say he's pretty skinny, no fat...but also not a lot of muscle. Coordination is not one of his gifts. But he's determined, and that's what he has going for him.
Jacob's obsession with 'being ready for the big race' made me start to think about the Spiritual application of his actions. The Bible says in Philippians 2:12 that we should "work out our salvation." We should exercise our faith. I'm sure you've heard it said that you've either just come out of a trial, in one now, or you're about to go into one. Well, for me, I know that trial is right around the corner for our family. No, I don't know what it is, but I know I have to be ready for whatever God has for us. I believe oftentimes our reaction to trials is a reflection of the faith we have exercised. If I am not exercising my faith now, in the good times, what will my faith be like later, when things get tough?
Hebrews 12:1 tells us to run with patience the race that is set before us and fix our eyes on Jesus - the ultimate finish line. Running the race is a discipline. It's not a sprint. It's a marathon and then some! Verse 2 then tells us Jesus set the example. He had his eyes on the goal. It says that for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross... He went through the terrible death on the cross for the joy of the end product...defeating sin and death so that we might have life! He had short term pain for a long term gain. Isn't that what growing our faith does? It gives us short term pain (through trials, sickness, death, etc) for a long term gain...depending on our choice of how to respond.
So for now, I just giggle inside at Jacob. He's determined to be ready for 'the big race.' He's been working out. He's committed. And if that race ever takes place, he's going to be ready. No, he may not win the race, but I guarantee you he will finish it.
And me, well, I'm determined to stay in the spiritual race. To keep working out my salvation. To exercise my faith and be ready to put it into action. I want to be obsessed...with Jesus. I love the chorus of Jesus Freak, by DC Talk:
What will people think when they hear that I'm a Jesus freak?
What will people do when they find out it's true?
I don't really care if they label me a Jesus freak.
There ain't no disguising the truth.
I don't need to hide the truth!
I love it when God uses my children to teach me truths about Him. Of course, I want to be more like Christ, but today, I want to be just like Jake, too!