Bruce Thielemann tells the story in Christus Imperator of a king long ago who organized a great race within his kingdom. All the young men in the land participated. A bag of gold was to be given to the winner, and the finish line was within the courtyard of the king's palace. During the race the runners were surprised to find in the middle of the road leading to the king's palace a great pile of rocks and stones. But they managed to scramble over it or to run around it and eventually to come to the courtyard.
Finally all the runners had crossed the finish line except one. But still the king did not call the race off. After a while one lone runner came through the gate. He lifted a bleeding hand and said, “O King, I am sorry that I am so late. But you see, I found in the road a pile of rocks and stones, and it took me a while, and I wounded myself in removing them.” Then he lifted the other hand, and in it was a bag. He said, “But, Great King, I found beneath the pile of rocks this bag of gold.”
The king said, “My son, you have won the race, for that one runs best who makes the way safer for those who follow.”
Romans 12:10--Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Each day we must choose whether to live for ourselves or for our King. If we run for ourselves we move to achieve all we have desired, planned or attempted—success is defined by the finish line. An honest person will soon admit the euphoria of crossing first ends in the emptiness that asks “is there not more in which to live for?”
If we race for God, it is not the tape draped across the road upon which we fix our eyes. No, we look to Jesus. Our aim is to be faithful as He was faithful. In the process we learn that success is really all about honoring others above ourselves. So if your hands are tired from moving stones that others ignored—be of good cheer. In your Father’s eyes, you already are a success! “Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).
The test of the life of a saint is not success, but faithfulness in human life as it actually is. We will set up success in Christian work as the aim; the aim is to manifest the glory of God in human life, to live the life hid with Christ in God in human conditions. Our human relationships are the actual conditions in which the ideal life of God is to be exhibited.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)