We all die. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Does that give us the okay to live our lives in foolish ways? Solomon seemed to think so, not realizing that God watches how we live our lives. All the choices we make in life help shape the people we become.
Fools do walk in the dark. Or should I say those that walk in the dark are fools? What does it even mean to walk in the dark? We are in the dark when we don’t have the truth in our lives. If we’re groping around in the dark, how do we find the light switch? To find the light, we need to find Jesus who is the light.
Jesus takes advantage of another teachable moment to let his disciples know their mission is all about serving, not being served. The disciples seem to be having a hard time understanding their purpose. That’s a lesson many of us need to hear over and over as well.
Our world is a very competitive place. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to win and forget our true mission in life. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to succeed, but we need to keep in mind how many kinds of rewards there are. The reward or prize we need to keep our eyes focused on is eternity with Jesus. There is nothing greater. James and John knew that and were even seeking a place of honor beside Jesus!
Have you ever been an athlete training for a big game or sporting event? It wasn’t until I was in my fifties that I really understood the intense discipline it takes athletes to prepare. I thought being a kickboxing instructor had been the epitome of my athleticism until my husband and I found a karate dojo in our new town. We began training for our black belt certification, and I’ll never forget the grueling four-hour test of my strength, will, and endurance.
Paul’s talk of running a race and being disciplined in training brought all those memories back for me. It’s also helpful to note that Paul’s original audience would have been very familiar with a sporting event, much like the Olympics, which was held every two years in Corinth called the Isthmian Games. Paul’s words would have been very powerful because of this association.