Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “run with endurance” the race set before us. George Matheson wrote, “We commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the invalid. Yet there is a patience that I believe to be harderthe patience that can run. To lie down in the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know of something that implies a strength greater still: it is the power to work under stress; to have a great weight at your heart and still run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily tasks. It is a Christlike thing! The hardest thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in the sickbed but in the street.” To wait is hard, to do it with “good courage” is harder!
The army of Alexander the Great was advancing on Persia. At one critical point, it appeared that his troops might be defeated. The soldiers had taken so much plunder from their previous campaigns that they had become weighted down and were losing their effectiveness in combat. Alexander immediately commanded that all the spoils be thrown into a heap and burned.
The men complained bitterly but soon came to see the wisdom of the order. Someone wrote, “It was as if wings had been given to themthey walked lightly again.” Victory was assured.
It is a most lamentable thing to see how most people spend their time and their energy for trifles, while God is cast aside. He who is all seems to them as nothing, and that which is nothing seems to them as good as all. It is lamentable indeed, knowing that God has set mankind in such a race where heaven or hell is their certain end, that they should sit down and loiter, or run after the childish toys of the world, forgetting the prize they should run for. Were it but possible for one of us to see this business as the all-seeing God does, and see what most men and women in the world are interested in and what they are doing every day, it would be the saddest sight imaginable. Oh, how we should marvel at their madness and lament their self-delusion!
If God had never told them what they were sent into the world to do, or what was before them in another world, then there would have been some excuse. But it is His sealed word, and they profess to believe it.
Film maker Walt Disney was ruthless in cutting anything that got in the way of a storys pacing. Ward Kimball, one of the animators for SNOW WHITE, recalls working 240 days on a 4-1/2- minute sequence in which the dwarfs made soup for Snow White and almost destroyed the kitchen in the process. Disney thought it was funny, but he decided the scene stopped the flow of the picture, so out it went.
When the film of our lives is shown, will it be as great as it might be? A lot will depend on the multitude of “good” things we need to eliminate to make way for the great things God wants to do through us.
Bill, his wife Kathleen, and their daughter Carolyn had been looking forward to spending some time at Big Bear, a family mountain resort. There was not a cloud in the sky when they got into their airplane at the small California airport and started on their way. Bill was a busy executive as well as a good and careful pilot. He no doubt had many things on his mind as he began to maneuver the airplane toward the resort. He was no doubt talking with his family, thinking about important decisions at work, and flying the airplane, of course. He was busy doing good things, important and appropriate things. But in his busyness, he neglected an essential thing; he strayed a bit off course. It happened at 12:05 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon on a Labor Day weekend. Their small plane hit a Mexican airliner over a residential area in Cerritos, California, killing everyone on both planes and several people on the ground.