I am addicted to planning. Not just any planning, I love to plan vacation and now is the peak of my addiction season. After Christmas my mind always turns to summer and, of course, riding my motorcycle. So, while I'm stuck inside in the harsh Indiana winter, I dream of summer and where my lovely wife and I will travel. I need the knowledge of the final destination to lead me on, but it's the focus on the details that gets me through the winter. It takes 6 months to plan a 3 week trip. Once we leave, it is glorious to see the plan come together. The actual destination is only 10% of the vacation. 90% is the planning and the adventure reaching that destination. The stories of our trips, how God has been with us, could fill endless posts in this blog. To see his hand in the people we meet and the places we have gone are awe inspiring. So, for the next 6 months, I will be planning and the anticipation will grow, even in subzero temperatures, fierce winds, and a foot of snow!
My life as a Christian is very similar. I am so blessed to have a wonderful savior. I could literally sit around, do nothing, and receive a fantastic heavenly reward. My salvation has been won. The war is over. I know who wins and I am on the victorious team. So why should I care about the lost? Why should I worry about anyone else but me?
Don't you get it? There is a great adventure ahead of us as we serve here in this life. It's not just the ETERNAL destination that matters. It's the trip getting there that makes life so wonderful. I think that's what Paul was trying to tell us. It's not the prize that matters, it's the race to that prize that has real value. Yes, sometimes it's a strain. Sometimes it's an all out war to even lift your head off the pillow in the morning. That, too, is a part of the grand adventure. That's when we forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. We press on toward our goals.
What are your life goals? What "carrots" have you placed in front of you to make it through the "harsh winters of your life"? You may never reach your goal, but you must have a goal just the same. Don't just wander through life looking for the end. Seek God, that's my goal. I don't want more things, I don't want an easier life. I just long to be close to God. I want to be so close, I can touch the hem of his robe. I want to be so close, he trips over me like a pesky toddler. I want to be so close, people see God through me. I may never get as close as I want, but I will powerfully race toward the prize. Like Paul, I don't claim to be "there" yet. But I will race toward that goal because Their is no greater prize than serving him. Really, serving him IS the prize!