During my morning run, I don’t like to stop—for anything. The goal is to stay focused, keep moving and finish strong. Stopping isn’t part of the formula. However, one morning I saw a car crawling toward me with the passenger window down. Noticing the elderly man leaning across the passenger seat, he wanted to ask me something. My shirt with the big Fellowship of Christian Athletes logo on the front was bearing witness; I felt convicted—I mean, compelled—to stop and help.
As I approached the window, I saw maps and directions scattered all over the front seat. He had every map known to mankind at his fingertips. His papers were his GPS—old school! He asked, “Can you help me?” Breathing heavily and a little bothered that I had to stop, I said, “Sure.” He asked where the Ritz Charles was located. Stunned, I pointed to a sign 10 feet in front of his car that said “Ritz Charles.” He simply said, “thanks” and traveled two seconds to his destination.
On my run home, I started to think how crazy it was that he was right in front of his destination but didn’t see it. The Lord quickly took my judgmental attitude toward the lost driver and shifted it toward me. You can so easily recognize it in others, but it is hard to see cluelessness in the mirror. The Lord quietly whispered in my ear, “You are the directionally challenged driver. You don’t get your head up and see where you are going, so you miss the ultimate destination.”
I get so caught up in all the stuff around me—the calls I need to return, the emails unopened, the “to-do’s” uncompleted—that I don’t see the destination. I miss it.
Oswald Chambers said, “The battle is not against sin or difficulties or circumstances, but against being so absorbed in work that we are not ready to face Jesus Christ at every turn.”
In life, we have so many responsibilities and commitments that we drift toward complexity and miss the ultimate destination. We do life, and we feel like we are drowning. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, and we can never get it all done.
News flash! You’re never going to get it all done! Life is bottomless and relentless! Every day, it will get harder. The ultimate destination is not completing all your tasks. It is not wrapping up life in a nice little package and putting a ribbon on it. Life is messy. It is hard. You will never control it, and you have to watch out or else it will quickly control you. Don’t miss it! In all you do, make sure you never miss what it is all about.
In life, you need to always keep your head up. The win is fulfilling the calling that God has placed in your lives and being faithful to the missions and tasks He has for you—every day. It is keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, and we can’t do that if our head is down. Don’t miss the opportunities God brings your way. It could be small like opening the door for someone or big like going on a mission’s trip.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 says: “And in view of this, we always pray for you that our God will consider you worthy of His calling, and will, by His power, fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified by you, and you by Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The late Pastor Warren Wiersbe frames these verses into three areas: Your Worth, Your Walk and Your Witness. Because of our future hope in Christ, we must be faithful today as we serve. Keep these three areas in mind:
1. Your Worth
The Lord has called you to serve Him, and your worth to God is usually revealed in the trials and tough times. Wiersbe writes, “When our faith is tried, we are revealing our worth.” Scripture encourages us in 1 Peter 1:6-9: “You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” God has called you. You have great worth, so serve well as you go well.
2. Your Walk
Character must lead to conduct. How we live, act and conduct ourselves is much more important than the impact of your work. I have seen too many people look great on the outside, but they were rotting inside. Chambers says it well: “Not only must the inner sanctuary be kept right with God, but the outer courts as well are to be brought into perfect accord with the purity God gives us by His grace.” Walk with Christ-like purpose: a daily, consistent walk that sets you apart. Pay attention to your walk and recognize that your actions and words make the biggest difference. Ephesians 5:15-16 gives us our marching orders: “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” We can walk victoriously because of His power. Plug into His power every single day. Draw near to God. Ask God to strengthen your walk today.
3. Your Witness
As we receive His grace, we reveal His glory. Reflect God’s glory as you serve. We must always ask ourselves, is Jesus Christ being glorified in our work? Do people see Christ in me as I serve? Our witness should be contagious.
Don’t miss it. You can easily become consumed with day-to-day activities. It takes discipline to keep your head up and realize that you are called because you have great worth; your walk matters more than your anything; and your witness needs to glorify Christ.
Dan Britton is the Executive Director of Field Ministry, International, for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has served FCA since 1990, and since 2013, has led FCA’s international efforts, traveling extensively around the world working with over 80 countries, training thousands of sports leaders, coaches and athletes.