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Christian Living

Why Do We Run?

It was to be a stress-reducing two mile run after school. Taking off from the flag pole, I planned an out and back route designed to avoid clusters of children walking home.

But as I rounded a corner, there they were: four kids spaced out on the sidewalk like cones on an obstacle course. “Hey! You’re one of the teachers!” “Yes,” I stammered, weaving my way through them.

Then one of them gave chase. This happens sometimes: children follow me down the street—in hot pursuit, like kiddie-cops. Today’s “police interceptor” was a precocious third grader named Danny. He caught up with me, screaming over and over, “Mr. Duncan, why are you running!”

I picked up the pace. “Surely, I can drop this kid,” I thought. But he matched me stride for stride for about 40 yards! “Mr. Duncan, why are you running!” “Because I want to,” I yelled back. Finally, he turned around. I was alone again.

Once I rounded another bend, I started to walk. Why? Because I’m a middle-aged man who just drag raced a nine year old! Still huffing and puffing, I pondered. “Because I want to.” What kind of answer is that!? What I really meant to say is, I NEED to.

I’ve run early in the morning and late at night. Dodging traffic and snarling dogs, in the rain and under the blazing sun. Simply because I love the way it makes me feel.


The apostle Paul felt this way about sharing the message of Christ: “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” – 1 Corinthians 9:16b (NIV) The love of Christ compelled him; it moved him to extremes (2 Corinthians 5:14)

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)

Here and now I must sheepishly admit that personal evangelism doesn’t always excite me like running does. I don’t often feel driven to share the gospel.

But maybe that’s because these two words -personal and evangelism- bring to mind the street corner witnessing of my Baptist youth. Handing gospel tracts to strangers never felt like a natural way to share my faith. However, answering (kindly) someone who asks me to speak up for the hope within me does. – 1 Peter 3:15b

Why am I running in this faith race? Because the love of Christ compels me!

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Blog evangelism

Why Cover That Up?

Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I are big fans of the HGTV (Home and Garden Television) network. We’ve watched so many home renovation shows we should be experts by now–at least in theory!

The other night we were scratching our heads, along with Ben Napier from the show Hometown. Underneath some puke green colored kitchen linoleum he discovered solid oak floors! “Why would you cover that up?!” asked Big Ben with a bewildered look.

Jesus feels the same way about His followers covering up who they truly are. “You are the light of the world,” He said. “A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

Have you ever tried to dim the light of Christ within you? Regrettably, I have–in order to fit in–and it felt like covering up solid oak floors with puke colored linoleum.

The Hometown episode brought to mind a woman I know who collects and sells antiques. She has an amazing eye for finding old furniture that just needs some love. One time, she discovered a complete Ethan Allen dining room set painted lime green! Underneath the paint, she found (you guessed it) solid mahogany.

However, it’s a bit of a somber story for the Antique Lady, as the local’s call her. She explained that, once beautifully aged hardwood is painted over, you can NEVER restore the original finish. The untouched table and chairs–with their original patina–would have been worth twice as much if they had not been painted.

Jesus feels the same way about His followers decreasing their value to the world. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13)

Have you ever turned down the volume (so to speak) of the godliness within you? Unfortunately–in order to blend in–I have, and it felt like painting over vintage mahogany.

Now, as much as ever, may we bring out the God-flavors of the earth and let the love of Christ shine through our lives. Jesus is the Light of the World and we are expected to carry a torch. Our good deeds for the glory of God are a reflection of Him.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine.