«Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith» (Hebrews 12:1, 2).
TONY CAMPOLO, the famous speaker and writer who worked as Bill Clinton’s spiritual advisor, tells a story he heard from Fred Craddock, a distinguished American preacher. One day Fred had an imaginary interview with a greyhound, a race dog, that his uncle had adopted.
«Dog, why don’t you race anymore? Are you old?» «No,» replied the dog, «l still feel strong enough to run many races.» «Oh, you probably don’t race anymore because you know you won’t win.» «No,» replied the animal, «l can still win because I’m faster than most dogs. In fact, when I retired I was the fastest one.» «Well,» said Fred, «maybe your owner didn’t make any money at your races.» «You’re wrong, he earned a lot of money because of me.» Finally, Fred asked him, «So then, why did you retire?» «Because one day I realized the rabbit I was chasing was not real.» Are we perhaps going after the deceitful and fleeting lures sin presents to us?
Achan chased a false lure when he kept the gold God had commanded be destroyed, because he thought he would become rich. Judas went after a false lure when he betrayed Christ, thinking he would have a better future. David chased a false lure when, dazzled by Bathsheba’s beauty, he committed adultery. We do wrong in devoting our best resources and talents to an irrational search for things that are fleeting.
The prophet asks us, «Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare» (Isaiah 55:2, NIV). Right now, we might think that «bread» is in fact food, but let’s remember that «bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel» (Proverbs 20:17). That’s why Hebrews talks about the «passing pleasures of sin» (Hebrews 11:25).
Instead of going after a false illusion, let’s «run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith» (Hebrews 12:1, 2).
If we fix our eyes on Christ, we will not be distracted by any lures.