Photo by mxruben on Morgue File.
LIfe is like a box of chocolates . . . or, at least, I think that is how that line goes!
I confess I have never watched Forrest Gump all the way through. I have probably seen the entire movie over time, catching bits and pieces of it here and there; but, I have never sat down and watched it beginning to end. Frankly, I am not a big fan of the movie. It just doesn’t appeal to me.
It is strange, I suppose, that I do not like the movie. I generally like Tom Hanks’ films. I consider him to be a good actor and one who tends to make good, solid films. I also live in Alabama and part of the movie is based in my home state. I have been, more than once, to Bayou La Batre.
No, I am not an Alabama fan, so maybe that is my turn-off. When Gump goes and plays for the “Bear” and runs wild for Alabama, maybe that is why I do not like the movie?!
I am not sure really. I have never found it to be all that engaging, personally.
Either way, I am not here to give a critique on the movie. I know many people have watched it thousands of times and love it; and, that is fine by me.
The real reason I even quoted the line from the movie is so I could amend it as it pertains to the Christian life.
The Christian life is a race . . . per Heb. 12.1 and other places.
I just thought of a tie in though to this spiritual principal and the movie. Forrest loves to run, right? He runs and runs and runs. I think his gal shouts out to him at some point and says, Run Forrest Run!
What do you know, I have found a teaching link to Forrest Gump!
Again, to amend the quotation: Run Christian Run!
The book of Hebrews is an amazing, thought-provoking book. We have been going through Hebrews in our Tuesday night men’s bible study that I lead at my local church.
We wrapped up chapter eleven last week, the great Hall of Faith chapter, as some have called it.
We read and discussed the men and women mentioned by the writer in that chapter. Men and women of faith. Men and women, who though not perfect, lived faithfully for God and his calling.
The writer transitions from that chapter to chapter twelve. Hebrews twelve begins with an exhortation to run!
The chapter is hortatory in nature: the writer exhorts his readers to run the race set before them; or, to mix metaphors, to fight the good fight.
He exhorts them: let us run with endurance. In the original Greek text, the word translated endurance is fronted for emphasis; so then it reads, with endurance let us run. The writer is making it clear that endurance is a necessity for this thing called the Christian life.
In fact, endure/endurance shows up three times in the first three verses of chapter twelve. This shows an emphasis on this crucial detail.
We will have more to say on this passage in the next few days. But, for now, I would like to leave with three lessons we can glean from our brief look at verse one.
Three Lessons to be Gleaned:
1.) The Christian life is not a spectator sport! We are called to run the race. We are not called to sit on the sidelines and watch. We are not called to be an enthusiastic fan. We are called to run. We are called, as Christ-followers, to participate. The Christian life, the life of faith is active.
2.) Therefore, we must train to prepare ourselves for the race. No runner of the first century, or today, would dream of entering a race without having first prepared for that race. Preparation is key. Long hours of exercise and training are crucial to the athlete. The hours are long and hard, but they are a vital part that will determine the level of success the athlete can reach. As believers, we should be daily preparing as we actively run this race. We should be yielding to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and allowing him to keep us in proper shape. Unlike the sporting world, we actually prepare and run at the same time! While we may have times of refreshment and Sabbath, for the most part, we prepare as we race . . . and race as we prepare.
3.) The race we are called to run is not a sprint! Endurance is important. This is no forty-yard dash that we are running. This is more akin to a relay type of race, where the baton is passed to the next runner. The men and women of faith in chapter eleven have passed their baton on to those after them. They in turn passed the baton to the next generation. The first century believers, who received the letter of Hebrews, had the baton passed to them; and, subsequently, passed it on to the next generation. We today now hold the baton. It has been handed to us. We will one day pass it along as well. But, as long as we hold the baton, as long as it is our time upon the stage, we are to run the race with patience and endurance. We must be in it for the long haul!