Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Run hard

I was reading a book this week called "Things Unseen".  In chapter 10 the author relates a story told by Charles Spurgeon about a trip he had taken to the Palace of Versailles.  The upper galleries were full of portraits of famous people.  He noticed that the visitors would stop and study the first couple of the paintings, but then tended to move quickly through the rest of the gallery without giving the remaining paintings a second glance.  When he visited the lower galleries it was different.  He saw that the visitors were intently studying the paintings and spending much more time at each one.  What was the difference?  The paintings in the lower galleries were of people doing things--fighting battles, making speeches, riding horses, etc.  They were much more interesting than the posed portraits.
Spurgeon commented,
Not the people but their actions engross attention.  Portraits have no charm when scenes of stirring interest are set in rivalry with them... If we would impress we must act.  The dignity of standing still will never win the prize; we must run for it.
It's the same with our Christian life.  Faith calls us to action.  If we stand still and look good, we may get some attention at first, but to maintain our influence we must act.

This thought is confirmed in Hebrew 12:1,
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
And in 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (The Message),
Pursue a righteous life--a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy.  Run hard and fast in the faith.  Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.
If we fail to live in certain hope of what God has promised, we get afraid and cling to our lives or our possessions.  We don't run.
Don't be afraid.  And don't be content to just sit and look good.  Run for it.

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