Time is something I never seem to have enough of, but always finding some is my desire. Today, I think about tomorrow’s Wisdom Wednesday being the 100th edition of One Man Revival here on Blogspot. It’s a milestone some probably thought we’d never see and one that I kept thinking earlier on about what I might say when I did get here.
When we reach milestones, we want them to be profound. Like we’ve accomplished something. As an avid sports guy, I’m always watching for athletes that break records and reach milestone that most never see. I remember being in high school and watching Pete Rose march toward history as he broke Ty Cobb’s hit record in 1985. Watching Cal Ripken overtake Lou Gehrig for the all-time consecutive games record was something else. I thoroughly enjoyed the friendship of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998 as they smashed ball after ball past Roger Maris’ single season home run mark.
The one I’ll always remember is Ripken though. He made a great comment in his post-game press conference. “I want to thank all of you for being here, but really I was just fortunate to be able to come to work and do something I love everyday.” No matter what the milestones, they take time. You show up, run the race, and go home each day.
The apostle Paul often compared life to being a race. A race that he didn’t just want to participate in, but to finish. In Acts 20:24, he says, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” That’s another thing about milestones. They are often task oriented with a goal in mind. Once he realized what the task was, Paul wanted to be able to tell people about Jesus for as long as he could.
The other main point of what Ripken tells us is that we need to be consistent. We need to keep showing up. Show up to church to be in fellowship with other believers and be fed the Word of God, show up to pray and listen for God’s guidance, show up to read our Bible and ponder what we read, show up when others ask us what God wills us to do on this big blue ball. That doesn’t mean show up three out of ten times like in baseball or even 70% to pass a class. It means what LeCrae calls, “Come hard or go home!”
We need to become consistent at being consistent. We are told to strive to do right. I like strive. It doesn’t mean to be perfect, but to attempt the best you have. If you are having doubts, read this from The Message Romans 14:23, “But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe-some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them-then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.”
God doesn’t want us to go after his kingdom halfway. If you need proof, there was a church of Laodicea that God speaks to in the book of Revelation. Starting in chapter 3, verse 15, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Have you ever left a drink in the car when you go in the mall and try to drink it after coming out on a hot day? It’s not a great feeling. The aftertaste is terrible. I don’t think we want to induce an ungodly indigestion.
Finally, as we reach milestones, we want to finish with God’s grace. I turned 40 this year. I’m thankful I still have my hair. I know that sounds rather vain of me. I’m not sure how I’d look bald. I used to get upset with the gray coming in and I still really don’t want it to turn white overnight, but I’m mildly OK when I think about friends and others that are my age that have less rather than more. It may not lay down easy after I sleep on it overnight, but that’s what water and shampoo are for.
Anyhow, enough about my vanity. God wants us to finish the race strong, but he also wants us to realize the grace that he gives us as we go. I’m 40 and thankful. I can only pray that as I go over 45, 50 and whatever else God allows that I can be as thankful and maybe, just maybe learn to complain a little less. That’s the major reason we remember a guy like Ripken. God gave him the grace to be graceful to us as the circus of insanity gathered. May he give that to us as well.
I love you guys!