Monday, January 30, 2012

Pants On The Ground

X Games medalist SNBer
Sebastian "Seb Toots" Toutan
With the Winter Olympics still two years away, the Winter X Games provide a nice snowbunny hint of grander things to come.  I’m amused at the “Big Air” competition.   Snowboarders race five hundred feet or so down a hillside, run up a forty foot ramp, soaring over and landing on the backside of an eighty foot hill.  The stated goal is to fly higher, and farther, and do more flips and spins than your competition.  If you’ve ever watched X Games, you can’t help being struck by the richness of the ski bum sub-culture, especially among the snowboarders who seem to have a deeper, richer, subber sub-culture.  Unkempt long hair, graffiti graphics on apparel and gear, “chill, bro” hand signals copped from the surfing sub-culture, and sloppy, baggy clothing.  Before I start sounding like everyone’s dad, let’s hang loose with a word from our awesome Sponsor:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Hebrews 12:1-2)
This memorization-worthy passage is the climax of Hebrews 11, the “Hall of Fame of Faith”.  The writer of Hebrews admonishes all followers of Jesus to keep their eyes Him and commit themselves to our chosen, long-distance race.  Three keys are alliterated here:
  •  lay aside every Encumbrance
  •  lay aside  the sin which so easily Entangles us
  •  run with Endurance
Avoiding a life detained by sin is the obvious course for followers who want to stay close to Jesus.  But what of these “encumbrances”?  Think of a baseball batter warming up.  He has those “donuts” on his bat – extra weights to force him to work harder.  But no batter goes to the plate with those donuts.  They’d just slow down the swing.  Do you have encumbrances in your life?  Bad habits like laziness and procrastination are dreadful encumbrances.  Failing to grow in our faith, remaining “baby Christians” may not seem like a sin, but it certainly diminishes the purpose of following Jesus.  Followers of Jesus seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to learn how to lay aside encumbrances.  My guess is you already have a pretty clear sense of the things that are weighing you down and holding you back from a close and swift pursuit of Jesus.

Now where was I?  Oh yeah, pickin’ on the young’uns.  I get frustrated with people who claim to have an objective and then doing things counter-productive to achieving it.  Remember I mentioned “baggy” clothing.  What do bags do?  They hold junk… like air.  “Big Air” athletes can sure turn their tricks and flips, but their baggy clothing encumbers them from excellence.  Compare the picture above to this one of a world-class ski jumper.  If you were a betting person which one do you think has a better chance of getting “Big Air”?

For me, the larger question is WHY?  Why would someone compromise their performance with these counter-productive clothes?  We mentioned the reason in the first paragraph – culture.  My observation is that these athletes are more committed to the safety of their peer (pressure) group than they are excellence.  The first one to break out and wear functional gear would blow the competition away.  Why not borrow some togs from Eddie the Eagle and go for the gold?

SNBer Torstein Horgmo
gettin' air and
droppin' trou.
I’ll stop picking on the kids and prod you one last time.  Are you ready to “put on Christ”?  Are your ready to spend an hour in prayer with God?  Are you ready to memorize a verse that God could use to minister to someone else?  Are you ready to tell someone your “secret” to enduring the hardships of life?  (And I don’t mean a generic status update on Facebook.)  Are you ready to step up to the clear opportunity to start a Bible study at your workplace or in your neighborhood?  Are you ready to stop letting fear hold you back like anchor?  Follower of Jesus, is NOW the time you'll take off your baggy, sloppy excuses and demonstrate Excellence in your pursuit of your Savior.

Clark H Smith

No comments:

Post a Comment