As I have mentioned before, I love to see new places. I love to view the world. The incredible landscape that God has designed. You would think in that context, running would be a perfect fit for me. I do love all of those things, I just prefer to view it from my car window. Anybody with me?! Running seems pointless. I take off and run to what end? Where am I going? Why am I going there? I guess I need a purpose in my running. Running while playing high school sports was fun and made sense. Whether it was football or basketball, there was a since of purpose. I need to get down the floor to defend another player. The ball is caught and needs to make it passed the goal line. Far too often in life, it seems that we do things with no purpose.
"Everyone else is doing it."
"This is what's supposed to be done."
In all of our striving, let's pause for a moment and decide the 'why' behind what we are striving for. I would hate to get to the end of my life and realize that I did a lot, but nothing was of much value. Peter Drucker, who for 10 years had a regular column in the Wall Street Journal, authored several books, and advised the executives of businesses such as GM, General Electric, IBM, and Salvation Army, said, "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all." Let's live with intentionality. Let's run with purpose.
Leading up to 2 Samuel 18, we see Absolom, David's son, take over the kingdom and David leaving his throne. In chapter 18 we see Absolom being killed in brutal fashion. But, because of the son's death, salvation is brought to the people. This sounds very much like the gospel story. Please don't confuse a man such as Absolom with Christ, but the similarities are such that I have to share what is taught here: The son has died and with it, brings salvation to the people.
We see a man in verse 19 of the chapter named Ahimaaz (gesundheit!). He says to Joab, "Let me run now and take the news to the king." He was eager to share the news of victory! I want to run and share the news that the death of the King's son has brought salvation. Here is a run I could get behind. In the middle of our various runs for various reasons, all of them worthy causes I'm sure, don't forget that the greatest run is that of sharing the news that Jesus died for the world's salvation!
Joab responds, "Not today, you shall share it another day." How often do we do this. I would love to share with my friends and neighbors about the love of Jesus...tomorrow! I'll do it tomorrow! But not Ahimaaz (God bless you!). He responds, "Come what may, I want to run!" Oh, let this be our heart! "Come what may, I want to run!" More often than not, I hear, "If it is not too inconvenient, I want to run!" "If it fits in my time schedule, I want to run!"
This is very similar to the men talking to Jesus in Luke 9. One man said (my paraphrase), "I want to run!" Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He asked another man, "Run with me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Still another said, "I will run, but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family." Jesus replied to them all, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
So Joab takes a long look at Ahimaaz (let me get you a tissue!), and tells him, "RUN!" Then he ran fast enough to outrun all the competition! I would like to take a long look at myself and would ask you to do the same. To really search ourselves and get rid of all of our excuses, all of our reasons why we can't, all of our wrong and impure motives, and tell ourselves: RUN and share the news that Jesus died so that through Him, the world might be saved!
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24