Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Chase

The 2012 season of NASCAR is coming to an end. With next week’s race, the chase begins and there are ten races remaining. There are only twelve drivers eligible to be the champion. The driver with the most points at the end of the chase will be named the champion.

Last night, NASCAR aired several commercials that described an eligible driver’s year or life and how each had led to the last ten races and the chase. At the end of the commercial, an announcer said, “The Chase. A dozen journey’s. One destination.”

That phrase caught my attention…just as the marketing pro had intended. But not for the reason they wanted. I immediately began thinking of how I could write about this phrase and use it as a Christian analogy.

Each of us has been on a journey. A spiritual journey. Our journeys have taken us to places we would never have imagined being. They have taken us to some of the greatest moments. The journey has taken us to some uplifting areas. Great sorrow has accompanied some of us along the way. We’ve even been to some dark places. And it wouldn’t be a worthwhile journey if joy and happiness hadn’t showed up at times.

Yes, it has been a journey and each journey is unique.

I’m sure, if you are like me, there are parts of your journey that you wish you could erase from the journals of your life. Times of rebellion and sin. But without these moments along the journey, I might not have learned the lessons needed. Because I experienced what those periods felt like (mainly separation from God), I know I don’t want to experience that again. I strive to keep sin out of my heart.

And I’m also sure that if you’re like me, you wish the spiritual highs could last forever. Because we have experienced the spiritual lows, we are able to appreciate the spiritual highs. On our journey, it’s what we do with these moments that really matter.

And of course, there is one destination. Heaven. For the Christian, that is our goal. That is where we will be champions. Reaching that finish line to be with Jesus forever and ever.

On our spiritual journey, it isn’t a chase. At least not for us. Because God is the one chasing. He is pursuing us throughout our journey. When we wander off the path, He is there to call us back to Him.

Perhaps the greatest example of this journey can be found in Psalm 23. It shows the ups and downs of life and how our heavenly Father is with us through it all. He is there to lead, guide and direct our footsteps. He is there to quiet and restore. He is there to encourage and sustain. He is there.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
All the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
(Psalm 23:1-6 – NIV)

How’s it going on your journey? If you are struggling, don’t hesitate to look to the One who is able to get you straightened out. He has the ability to keep your journey on His righteous path. He’s pursuing you. Just stop and let Him take control.

If you feel your spiritual journey is going well, there is always room for improvement. Find a way to deepen your relationship with Jesus just a little more. Memorize more Scripture. Spend an extra 15 minutes praying. Share the Gospel with one more person. The benefit will far outweigh the effort.

A spiritual journey. A destination. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of it. I pray that you are as well.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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