The Wrong Race
It’s easy to feel like you’re missing something. We find ourselves in the middle of an apparent competition, not knowing the game, much less the reward for any of it. A simple drive becomes a race, people flying down the road, cutting each other off, jockeying for position. Every public scene is each person looking out for themselves, with little regard for others. In this contest, casual party conversation is spoiled by “one-uppers”, each story to be topped by another. There’s no need for a field, a court or arena. There are no rules, and nothing is out-of-bounds. All decorum and civility are lost as due respect is mistakenly determined from a scoreboard of clothing labels, hood ornaments, and living space measured in square footage.
Getting swept by the tide of competition would be understandable if there was a promise of satisfaction for the victor. How can a winner be declared, though, in a race that never ends? Instead, we settle for the consolation of inflated egos, false pride and the trappings of lives that distract us from the real needs around us.
Is it possible that we’re running the wrong race?
How contrary does it sound to our American way of life, to hear Phillipians 2:3-4 say, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
Wise and timely advice can be taken from Paul, later in this same letter, when he encourages the Phillipians to forget what they had wasted their lives on, and pursue goals that bring eternal rewards. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal…wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:19-21).