Saturday, April 23, 2011


When my young son's soccer practices started a few weeks ago, we noticed that he looked like he was super happy and having an absolute blast. But--and how do I put this gently--he also ran around the field as though he was only semi-aware there was even a ball to chase or a game to play! He almost bounded around the field more than he ran, grinning ear to ear with this "I'm-super-happy-to-be-here!" kind of smile, but that was about it!

Then later the same week when we were on vacation, I saw this very same child tear off after a bunch of seagulls at the beach, and that child MOVED. I mean, he was focused on catching one of those birds, and he was fast as lightning. He ran like that because he was in pursuit of something.

After seeing this, I mentioned to him that he could chase the soccer ball like he was chasing those pigeons. I said it's great and important to have a lot of fun while playing, but there's a game to play, too. He's part of a team, and they need him to be in on what the team is up to.

So today was his first game, and the boy shot all over the field with great focus and intentionality and moved that ball down the field. No more bounding--he was running with purpose!

I'm so struck by the unfortunate fact that it is so, so common for people to just be bounding through life. They're running around without a great deal of purpose or focus, and maybe they're even having fun doing it. And hey, I'm all about having fun. But we're up to something so much more! 1 Corinthians 9 says that we are to run this race so as to win the prize--because that prize is a crown that will last forever, as opposed to the crown of temporary satisfaction.

There are parts of my life in which I'm "bounding around." Perhaps even with one of those "Happy-to-be-here!" smiles on my face, but fully lacking in focus and intent. And then there are other parts of my life in which I am in pursuit of something worth something, and it shows. But the fact is, these days are precious. Numbered, even. There's no place for bounding around when I am part of the Kingdom of God and am called to do my part in pursuing victory.

"Everybody ends up somewhere in life. Some people end up there on purpose" (Andy Stanley). How in your life are you running with great intentionality? And how in your life are you simply bounding around the field? I have been considering this very thing in my own life. I challenge you to prayerfully consider one area in which you're "bounding." And then ask the LORD to strengthen you to run on purpose.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

No comments:

Post a Comment