Prayer: Help us run the race, Father, keeping our eyes on you and making a difference in other people’s lives. Amen.
Reading: Philippians 3:14 - 4:1 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I’ve only been in a few running races. Mostly 5Ks. Running just isn’t my thing. It is not my idea of enjoyable exercise.
In the races that I’ve run, though, I’ve known the end. I’ve seen the mile markers and known how far I’ve run and how far I have yet to go. The finish line is always in sight because I know the race will end when I get to it, no matter how long it takes me.
But our faith race doesn’t have a finish line that we can see. Some day, we will end up in heaven with God. But we don’t know the date, time, or place where we will be located. We just keep “running the race” and know that God will be there at the end.
My aunt died last week and it gave me pause to think about life. When it comes to the end of our lives, what really matters is our relationship to God and to others. In other words, our earthly discipleship. We may accumulate stuff but we can’t take it with us. We may have big bank accounts, but they will be inherited by someone else. But how we made a different in our lives and how our faith in God will be what matters when the race is finished.
So, as we run here on earth, we should make a difference. And we should strengthen our relationship with our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. –Chad Hershberger
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