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A Race Worth Running

Hurricanes have a way of reminding us about what is truly important. Cancer is a master teacher on the value of life and relationships. A near fatal car accident becomes our tutor in gratitude and grace. Colors become more vivid. Beauty takes on new meaning. Relationships grow richer. And heaven becomes more real.

What is your life purpose? In 1939 Christopher Morley wrote these words in his novel, Kitty Foyle: “Their own private life gets to be like a rat race.”

Here we are almost eighty years later, and the term “rat race” has evolved to describe the “hopeless pursuit of a good life always just out of reach—a treadmill upon which we can’t stop walking or we will fall off” (Patrick Morley, Man in the Mirror, 14).

Is your life a rat race, or is it more like a rat in a maze? Simon and Garfunkel once sang the haunting line, “Like a rat in a maze, the path before me lies. And the pattern never alters, until the rat dies” (ibid., 22).

Whether you’re on a treadmill or in a maze, being a rat is never a good thing. Chasing after more of what this world offers only leaves us tired and empty. And then along comes a hurricane . . . or cancer . . . or a near fatal accident, and we are re-awakened. We gain perspective. We understand more clearly how “[we] are like a breath of air; [our] days are like a passing shadow” (Psalm 144:4, NLT).

I once sat in the home of an elderly man who was quite wealthy. He had it all . . . according to the world’s definition. But his grown children were estranged, his wife was dead, and his faith was but a flicker. He sat in his comfortable recliner and confessed his confusion and emptiness.

If you’re in a race, make sure it’s a race worth running. Near the end of his life, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, ESV).

If you’re in a maze, make sure you have the right Guide. Jesus once said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13, ESV).Take a moment right now to think about what is most important in your life. Give thanks for the hope of heaven, the depth of love, the beauty of friendship, and the grace of God. And when the hurricanes come, know that nothing in this world can separate you from what truly matters.

“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39, NLT).

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