“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up; it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up; it knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” This quote, popularized by Thomas Friedman in his 2005 book, The World is Flat, sounds a lot like the world we live in today. We may not literally be chasing our next meal or being chased for a meal, but we understand what it means to start the day running. We’ve got deadlines to meet, projects to finish, sales goals to reach, tests to take… However, living in a constant “fight or flight” lifestyle can lead to depression, memory problems, and even serious health issues. Hypertension and heart attacks strike down stressed out people every day.
With all this at stake, you’d think people would have a clear idea of the “finish line”. What’s the point of all this running?!!! Yet if you ask people (or even Siri or Alexa), “What is the meaning of life?”, you’ll get a variety of answers, ranging from “…getting just a little bit more” or “world peace” to just plain “I don’t know”.
On this Resurrection Sunday, we see that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t his “finish line”. Hebrews 12:1,2 says, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” His victory over death allowed him to be our trailblazer. As He beat death, so can we! As Paul says in Philippians 3:10,11, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
This Sunday we’ll celebrate the resurrection of Jesus AND the fact that we get to join Him in that resurrection someday! We’ll have special refreshments, a petting zoo for the kids, and a place for you to take pictures together with friends and family. That hope, that joy, that purpose is what keeps us “running” with Paul, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14.