Tuesday, April 30, 2013

the banner

I'm sure you've already noticed it. Kids riding their bikes around, more dogs going for walks, people breaking out their flashy gym shoes to hit the pavement...seems like everyone's got the itch. Something about the sun warming your skin and the way the days stretch just a bit longer each day make us want to linger outside and get moving! 

When I pass the frequent jogger or cycler, I can't help but wonder what they're training for. The reality is that we're always on our way towards the next mile marker, and that goes far beyond just marathons. So if we're all in a race, what are we training for? 

"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air, but I discipline my body and keep it under control, so that after I have preached to others, I will not be disqualified for the prize?" -1 Corinthians 9:25-27

In any big race, there are numbers of colorful banners that find themselves spread across the course giving a message to the competitors. Some boast of the event name or logo, words of encouragement, mile markers, but the most welcome is "FINISH" that boldly declares the completion of the event. 

Think about this: we not only pass under banners as we race, but we carry banners. What does your banner say about you? What does mine say about me? That got me really thinking...should my banner say anything about me at all? After all, the crown I earn will find it's place right at my King's feet, so shouldn't my banner reflect that and be unfurled for His glory alone? 

 The words of a martyred, Zimbabwean pastor express so poignantly what I desire my attitude to reflect as a competitor: 

"...I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And, when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me...my banner will be clear."

So, set your face. Keep on. And finish strong. 

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