“Is there anything more important than your soul?” (Mark 8: 37 NLT)
That question, asked by Jesus, haunts me. Because I’m not living that way. When I get frustrated by traffic, am I living as if there is nothing more important than my soul? How about when I’m frustrated because something I want is out of stock at the store? Or when a business deal goes bad?
The bottom line is I’m not living my life with any urgency.
I’m realizing just how much stuff creeps in and distracts me from what is really urgent. In one of my favorite scenes from The Simpsons, Homer is kicked out of Moe’s Tavern. By sheer coincidence someone who looks exactly like Homer (but with a British accent) goes into Moe’s. His name, of course, is Guy Incognito. Everyone thinks it’s Homer, and so he’s thrown out of the bar where we see Homer walking across the street.
Homer’s reaction is natural. “Hey that guy looks like me!” But before he can figure out why he has an identical (apparently British) twin, he sees a dog with a fluffy tail. And that’s the end of Homer’s urgency. Yelling, “That dog has a fluffy tail!” He goes off to chase the dog.
That, my friends, is how most of us live. We experience the amazing, and sometimes miraculous. But we’re too busy following dogs with fluffy tails that we completely miss out on what’s truly urgent. We seem to get distracted by everything. People we work with, family members, bad drivers, movies, TV. Everything.
That’s not how I want to live my life. That’s not what it means to live out a life of faith. In a letter to the city of Corinth, Paul captured that fact, saying, “I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9: 26-27)
I want to run that race like everything is on the line. Because you know what? Everything is on the line. There is nothing more important than our soul.
How are you running?
photo provided by flickr user yoppy