Losing Sight of the Finish Line

Wednesday night started out just like any other night: dinner with my girls, bedtime routine, and some quality time with the wifey. Jen and I had decided to check out the movie, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but fifteen minutes into the film I started feeling queasy. I’m not a film buff, so I knew it couldn’t be Nic Cage’s quirky one-liners that had me feeling off beat. Nonetheless, Jen and I decided to retire the movie and call it a night. The thing is, I rarely ever get sick….. as a matter of fact, I don’t even remember the last time I felt queasy. Too bad the stomach bug wasn’t the least bit impressed with my record of physical health. From 11:00-2:30am I must have set an Olympic record in hurdles — jumping hurdles (aka the dollhouse plus accessories that have made their home on my bedroom floor) from the bed to the bathroom that is. It was horrendous, but after that 3.5 hour period, I thought I was good to go. 

It had only been 30 minutes after my bed-to-bathroom half-marathon, that we heard our oldest daughter whimpering in her room. Turns out , Sophia was my competition in the “Olympic hurdling” event that had unfolded that night, but sadly, she never made it to the bathroom because she couldn’t open the door. Fail. In keeping with the saying, “birds of a feather flock together”, we ended up bunking in the bed together for the rest of the night. It was a long night, but as horrible as I felt, I would have gladly taken her “tummy boo-boo” than see her like that.

Around 3:00 AM, wearing Daddy’s undershirt.

 It got me thinking: Initially, I thought the night was going to be all about me, but… it’s really wasn’t about me at all. When I run the race so focused on the “hurdle” (life’s circumstance), I inevitably lose sight of the finish line (the glory of God).  Paul set his sights on the eternal: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

 So often I think that I exist for myself and view life through selfish lenses. How will this decision affect me? When can I do the things that I want to do? Who is going to help me with this project? Instead of living life for the glory of God, I make it about me –my fame, my prize, my interests, my health, my security. The fact of the matter is, that God is passionate about His glory. He wants to make His name famous. God created Israel for His glory (Isaiah 43:1-7). It is because of His love that he is passionate about His glory. As John Piper says, “God’s love for us is not mainly his making much of us, but his giving us the ability to enjoy making much of him forever.” Convicting, huh? 

As a bonus, John Piper tweeted this yesterday. Felt it was spot on. “We do not exist for ourselves.” 


What hurdles keep you from pressing onward toward the finish line?

12 Responses to “Losing Sight of the Finish Line”

  1. Jim F January 14, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    Sorry you were sick —-but it did give you a great illustration :)

    You are right that selfishness is something that over takes us and that we must fight against. I can admit that there was a time that I wanted to be famous and take God along for the ride. Now I want God to be famous – period – it is not about me at all.

    Good post!

    • Dustin January 14, 2011 at 8:49 am #

      Thanks Jim – tough to remember sometimes. I’m with you with “taking God along for the ride”.

  2. kevin January 14, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Nothing worse than a sick kid. Nothing. Megan is sick right now, and I’m seriously considering having her wear a mask because I don’t want Gabe to get sick. That might also lead to me sleeping on the couch. At least I won’t get sick.

    • Dustin January 14, 2011 at 8:49 am #

      Something is definitely going around! :(

  3. Randy Kinnick January 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Having a sick child can be quite a helpless feeling…at least with the stomach virus, we CAN do something to help. I think most of us would agree…we’d “take the bullet” for our kids. Thanks for taking a simple life experience and making a great spiritual application. I, for one, am in need of this reminder from time to time.

    • Dustin January 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

      Thanks Randy… rough seeing her like that for sure :(

  4. Cindy G January 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Whew! Now I’m glad I wasn’t cuddled up with the cuties on that sofa at the Snowed In Sleepover! Seems it was full of cooties as well as cuties! :)

    But leave it to you to get a spiritual lesson out of the experience. Great job and yes, very convicting!

    • Dustin January 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

      Yeah, Cindy … I’m guessing you heard the boys were sick as well. :( Thanks for stopping by!

  5. ThatGuyKC January 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Sorry ya’ll got sick.
    You kind of pulled a ninja move there with the train of thought, but liked how you tied in what we’re really here for and how it’s so easy/typical to focus on ourselves.

    • Dustin January 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

      Thanks… just thankful that even during the tough times God gives us glimpses of His character!

  6. David Norman January 29, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    This is a powerful analogy for what ministry can become – us running frantically at the cost of our families. Good insight!

    • Dustin January 29, 2011 at 11:23 am #

      Thanks, David. I appreciate you stopping by! And believe me…not just ministry, but life in general. :)

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