Such A Way

grayscale photo of people during marathon

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24, NKJV).

Too often do I read a verse, focus on its common acceptance, and forget to pause and grasp the more replete meaning God wishes me to know. I recently read Corinthians 9:24 in this manner. I have known the verse for years and during a recent reading again, God paused me long enough to notice the phrase “in such a way.” And here I began to contemplate the fuller meaning. I admit I have not done so in my life, and further, I am not sure how this is done or if its means is available to my will and understanding. I can say the life of Christ provides the answer and my best discernment as guided by His life is available to me. Attaining it, I believe, demands from me I run the race. Removing myself from the race gets me no closer to understanding such a way.

The Reverend Thomas Smyth (1808-1873), offers me insight when he writes, “To feel that to live is Christ; to be so united to Christ that His work is our work; His will our will; His sufferings, death, and sacrifice, ours; His denial, love, and charity, ours; His kingdom, triumph, and glory, ours; to feel that to spend and be spent in His service, to be instant in season and out of season, in winning souls to Christ—is our life; to feel that pain is pleasure, weariness rest, tribulation glory, and death gain, when endured as good soldiers of Christ; this is to shine with a glory which death itself shall not eclipse, but, which rising in a higher dawn, in a better land, in a hemisphere encircled by the external hills, watered by the river of life, and luxuriant as the Paradise of God, shall shine more and more throughout the unending day of our ever brightening immortality.”

He further wrote, “I believe that capacity to do, brings with it the consciousness of its own impelling energy, determination, and will; and that when the heart is sanctified and set right, this consciousness brings with it a corresponding sense of responsibility to put his talents out to usury, and to the very best advantage. I believe, also, that with such conscious ability and responsibility to do, there is a proportionate sense of ‘Woe is me, if I do not,’ of humility in view of what is done, and of much that is not done. A man must know that he can do, and what he can do, and all he can do, and to have confidence in undertaking, boldness in execution, self-approval in having endeavored to do his duty, and self-condemnation, if he, through the fear or favor of men, fails to do.”

Reverend Smyth knew the meaning of such a way.

A word to the wise should be sufficient.

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