The Rules of the Game!
Through a subscription e-mail service through which I receive illustrations comes this great story. There was this unusual bicycle race conducted in a village in India. It was unusual because the object of the race was to go the shortest distance possible within a specified time. At the start of the race everyone set up on his bike at the starting line. When the gun sounded, the contestants would try to move the least, the shortest distance. When the time was up, the person who had gone the farthest was the loser; the person closest to the starting line was the winner.
On one occasion there was a contestant in the race who did not understand the rules -- he was ignorant of the unusual rules of this contest. When the race started this fellow took off like lightening... peddled as hard as fast as possible, sweating, out of breath... he looks back -- and he is excited because he is so far ahead of all the others. At last, he hears the gun that ends the race and he is delighted... until someone tells him -- he is the unquestioned loser... Why -- HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE RULES OF THE RACE!
Now the point of the story is...
Regardless of our energy, our hard work and sincere effort, if we are not following God's rules, we lose! When I become a Christian, and as I try to stay in the race, I need to learn the rules; I must read and study and review, then obey. Paul wrote to Timothy and said, "If anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowed unless he competes according to the rules," (2 Tim. 2:5).
By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 7.8; August 2000