Last week I was in Las Vegas in the strangest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. This week, I’m in Chicago, at one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. So I’m afraid my trade show illustrations are going to continue for another week. And again, I’ve got a story from a bathroom!
I was in the airport in Atlanta (yes, I had to fly through Atlanta to get to Chicago from Wichita), and their faucets and sinks and towel dispensers were all motion activated. I got the faucet going and shoved my hand under the soap dispenser, and it made a thunking noise. But no soap came out.
I tried it again. And again. And again. No soap.
I figured it must be empty, so I moved to the next sink. Same thing. Water ran fine but no soap. Just a thunk-thunk-thunk-wheeze. So I moved to the next sink.
Same thing! I had to go to two more sinks to get to a soap dispenser that worked, but at that sink, the water faucet didn’t work!
Just looking at the super nice ladies room in the Atlanta airport, everything looked fine and in perfect working order, but half the soap dispensers weren’t working.
Today’s verse is 2 Timothy 4:7.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
The difficult part about following God is following through. You can say you’re committed to God. You can say you’ve dedicated your life to Him. But when real life hits, it’s not as easy to do it as it is to say it.
It’s easy to look like a Christian, but it’s not as easy to do what a Christian does. It takes dedication and commitment to Christ.
On the outside, you can look all shiny and perfect and in working order, but when the time comes to actually do the work you were designed to do, you might choke. Because it’s hard. Doing what God’s called us to do is the greatest adventure you can ever imagine, but it’s not easy because our world is broken. It’s worth it, yes, but it will never be easy.
You can go to Bible college. You can go to church every day. You can know the Bible forwards and backwards. But that doesn’t mean when God tells you to do something uncomfortable that you’re automatically going to jump in with both feet. You might end up exactly like that soap dispenser in the Atlanta airport–looking good but not actually functional.
If you want to achieve God’s best for you in this life, you have to be willing to do the things He tells you to do when He tells you to do them. You have to be committed. You have to finish the race you start.
People don’t get recognition for stopping a race in the middle of the run. I have friends who run marathons, and they train and train and train and train for ridiculous hours to get their bodies to the point where they can run a race. After they train, they don’t stop in the middle of the race because they get tired. Even if they finish last, they still finish.
Welcome to the Christian life. Following Jesus isn’t easy, and He never promised it would be. But He did promise He’d never leave us, and that it would be an awesome life. You’ll just never experience it if you aren’t totally committed to doing what He’s called you to do.
So think about your commitment level. Think about where you are in the race you’re running. If you’re still breathing, you haven’t finished it yet, but you may not be running anymore. You might not even be walking. You might have stopped somewhere along the road because trying to get to the finish line is just too much trouble.
It’s not. You’re just seeing the finish line through the eyes of someone who isn’t running the race. To someone who doesn’t care, finishing the race will never matter.
Don’t be a soap dispenser that doesn’t work. Don’t be a race-runner who’s standing still. Be committed. Follow Jesus where He leads you, when He leads you, how He leads you. It won’t be easy, but it will be awesome.