Running the race of life
This is the year that changes everything in my life. It’s the year when retirement, Social Security, and health care enter into my life with more confusion than trying to understand the IRS. Following the first decisive victory over Rommel by the Allied Forces in North Africa during World War II, Winston Churchill commented, “This is not the end; It is not even the beginning of the end; It is though, the end of the beginning.”
That’s where I am in life right now. I’ve survived a lot of battles of life and even won a time or two, but the war is far from over. This year I’m going to share some of the past with you and let you, you who are old enough, explain it to your grandchildren. It took a double-dog-dare to get me to share this with you and if you remember what that means, you understand. How many of the following do you remember? * Candy cigarettes; * Little waxed Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside; * Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles; * How about the wooden boxes stacked next to the soda machine to place your empty bottle in; * Coffee shops with table-side juke-box satellites; * Blackjack, Clove, and Teaberry chewing gum; * Home milk delivery in glass bottles, with cardboard stoppers; * Party lines; * Newsreels before the movie; * P.F. Flyers; * Butch Wax; * Talking to the operator was the only way to getting a phone call made and telephone numbers with a word prefix (early area code) was necessary ... (“Drexel-5505, please”); * Pea shooters; * Howdy Doody, * Hi-Fi’s, * 45 rpm records;* Green Stamps; Metal ice-cube trays with levers; * Mimeograph paper? There’s so much more but that ought to get a few conversations started. Good luck.
[1 Peter 2:11-12; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Ephesians 6:10-18] It seems nowadays we have no spiritual appetite because we are too full of ourselves. The biggest battles we have to fight are not on the home front defending our rights with lawyers and activists but on the spiritual front defending our souls from sin. If we were all more interested in living a righteous life void of self and greed we would be living in a much different world. Don’t get me wrong now. I’m not advocating socialism here and I don’t believe God has ever done that either. I am who I am and what I do in this world is, most likely, totally different from your role in life and that’s a good thing.
But what is there when this life is over? In God’s Word we find warnings and hope about life after death. Some will say there is no life after death and I’ll be the first in line to defend your right to think that way, because God has given each and every one of us that right. I am made in the likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), therefore I am a spiritual being living in a physical body.
Life is dangerous. Illness and accident can end our life at any given moment. We all want to live to a good old age and even then we’re not ready or willing to give in to death. Why? Because you haven’t prepared your spirit by learning of God and you’re not ready to return to your home of origin. If you’re afraid of death, you’re not ready to meet the Creator.
Well, I don’t want it to seem like I’m beating you up. All I really want to say is, if life seems like an endless war maybe you’re fighting on the wrong front. The Bible tells us that sin and strife destroy a good life. There is no reward on this earth for finishing a good life besides having your name set in stone.
Our Heavenly Father promises eternal life to those who love and obey Him. Are you running a race to the graveyard to be alone, or to heaven, to be with God forever?
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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