Every week Sam (fictitious name of a real person) takes off running at full speed as he passes all the rest. Smiling, his head held high, he is out front and FIRST! But not for long. All watch as Sam slowly begins to lag slower and slower, soon all those he passed are now passing him. Eventually Sam is seen back in the far distance, holding his side with a limping walk. The coach of the Cross Country team tries to tell him to pace himself, reserving the energy to finish the race and finish strong. But he doesn’t seem to be listening. You’d think he’d watch the team leaders who are successful, but he doesn’t seem to see them. His current training will indeed condition him for failure. “Anyone seen Sam?” Asks the coach as the team assembles at the end of practice.
We are designed for each other, to hear and see each other. The writer of Hebrews exhorts “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” (13:7) Solomon said, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20) Paul too charges the older men and women in the book of Titus to teach and live in such a way that the younger generation learns good from them.
The last few years it has been my goal to have a couple, three or four strong godly women in my life at all times. I ask their guidance, seek their wisdom and whole heartedly listen and watch. Not that I always accurately imitate, I tend to have a rebellious streak, but they are out in front of me and I make myself see them, and listen to their words. “Iron sharpens iron, So one man (woman) sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17, emphasis mine) They are used of God to help sharpen me, my character, my choices and my gifting. I desire too, to be someone out front for others, like the Psalmist so poetically wrote: “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18) I do NOT want to hear echoed across my life, “Anyone seen DeDe?” Or be like Sam and focus only on getting out ahead, ignoring good training practices and forget the call to finish.
How about you, what are you watching, to whom are you listening? Does God have a few godly folks running ahead of you to help set your pace? Point to ponder.
Watching, listening and learning. Finishing the race and finishing strong.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)