Student-athletes who run cross country, swim long distances, or endure long tennis matches know that moment when they have to decide to dig deep to stay in the race or give up and fall on their faces. You know that pushing yourself mentally and physically to compete and complete the race, swim, or match would be the best story ever! It’s also just as easy to grab a protein drink and a shower when your mind and body are ready to end the madness.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the educational race, more than 25 percent of high school students drop out before graduation. More than 30 percent of college students drop out before their sophomore year. Too many students are not getting the higher education they need to fulfill God’s calling in their life.
In the book of Acts, the author (many believe it was Luke) recorded the acts of the apostles and shared them with Theophilus. Toward the end of the book, we read Paul’s words: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).
I want to share three tips to help you break through the walls and obstacles in your life that could be preventing you from accomplishing your goals. In this blog, I’ll write about how to forget your life. In the next blog, I’ll conclude by writing about finishing the race and focusing on the task.
FORGET YOUR LIFE
When Paul said I consider my life worth nothing to me, he wasn’t saying that his life, or any life, was not important. He wasn’t being fatalistic. He wasn’t saying that wisdom, laughter, education, work, shopping, or eating chocolate cake was bad. Even King Solomon tried all of that and discovered that everything is meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1:2). (Okay, maybe he had fig cakes, instead of chocolate.)
Paul was saying that he did not value his life above the calling God had given him. We have multiple callings in our life: salvation, vocation, occupation, and avocation. Your salvation begins when you confess your sins and trust Jesus Christ with your heart. If you are ready to make this decision, read this and then share your decision with a Christian friend, pastor, or me.
As you learn to pray, read your Bible, experience life, and discover your interests, you will hear God’s calling for your vocation as a carpenter, welder, engineer, nurse, or missionary. Then you can choose the best path to learn a trade or attend college after high school.
Paul valued and enjoyed life! He loved taking risks (he was bold), being outdoors (tentmaker), and traveling (mission journeys). He just wanted to be obedient to the teachings of Christ and follow His example.
When you are ready to forget your life and focus on the Lord, you are making the most important decision to stay in the race.
Through student ministry and educational consulting (career and college planning), I have enjoyed guiding teenagers to discover their higher calling.