This morning I awoke to run. It’s something I do on a fairly regular basis, but lately it hasn’t been going so well. I’ve been tired. Physically tired. Mentally tired. Emotionally tired. And even spiritually tired. I’ve been tired. And when I don’t run well my whole attitude changes… admittedly, that one element of my life can be the lynchpin for my entire outlook. It’s a small disappointment, but it got me thinking about how we all view our lives.
What is the lynchpin for how we face the day? We are all tempted to cling to things or people or situations that can potentially make or break us. We place our hope in the hands of sports teams, political parties, what this celebrity is doing, our paychecks, our neighborhoods, our cars, our social agendas, or even seemingly good things, like service projects and charity work. And yet, the hope of the gospel is that – in Jesus Christ – the highest of highs and lowest of lows have eternal value.
The apostle Paul, after reflecting on all the things he had accomplished in his life up to meeting Jesus, writes this in Philippians 3 –
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
I know people who are facing mountains to climb every single day – chemo treatments for themselves, their spouses, or their children – continued rejection in the job market – broken marriages – depression and anxiety – medical testing and uncertainty. I’m most inspired and challenged by the people who are facing these circumstances with Jesus Christ carrying them, and who not only give lip-service to these words in Philippians 3 but live them.
My challenge for myself today, and everyday is to cling to Jesus. Alone.