When I was a kid, my brothers and I use to help bale hay for a farmer just around the corner from us. If you’ve never baled hay… I highly recommend doing it at least once! (It’s fun to blow your nose about mid-day and see snot that looks like it’s been seasoned with paprika! I know…that’s disgusting.)
Each summer, we would help this farmer get his hay bales out of the field by loading it onto the back of an old army truck and a flat-bed trailer. A couple of us would be on the ground putting the bales on said vehicles, while the others would take the bales and stack them while we crept along in the field. Then, once loaded, back to the barns to unload and re-stack in the lofts and then back to the fields. This is always done is 90 degree weather! We would do this 3 to 4 times a summer, each time taking about a week (man, he had a lot of hay fields!). Great way for a kid to make some cash, right? Wrong!! My dad worked it out so that we would be paid in hay bales! After working in his field till sundown each day, we would load up our own trailer, take it home and put it in the loft…by the end of week our loft was full. You can imagine how tired we were at the end of each day, that last trailer on our minds. But, the hay had to go in the loft that night…so we had to finish strong. Get a drink of water, throw your gloves back on and finish the task at hand. That was a great lesson for me in life!
Our lives with Jesus can sometimes resemble a day of baling hay. It’s hard work. The bales don’t get lighter as the day goes on! You have to finish strong so that the job gets done. The Apostle Paul often referred to our faith as a “race”, a “battle” or even a “wrestling match”. As we age, the temptation is to slow down, to let others take the baton and finish the race for us, to put it simply…we are tempted to see the work of the church as “someone else’s job”.
” I’m 42 years old and I WANT TO FINISH STRONG!!” (I’m yelling…but not at you!)
You try it…put your age in there. Whether you are 30, 54 or 84…whatever your age, is your desire to finish this life and finish the race STRONG? I hope so! I love Hebrews 12…check out these couple of verses:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” – Hebrews 12:1-2
“So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.” – Hebrews 12:12-13
Notice it doesn’t set an age range to the race God has set before us. God desires for us to run by keeping our eyes on Jesus till the very end…to FINISH STRONG! Take a new grip…walk off those aches and pains and run!
Our desire as a church is to help you with the race. For those who are in the second half of adult life (50+) we want to speak to the unique challenges you face in the race. On October 18, 5:30pm, we’d love for you to join us for dinner and fellowship as we address these challenges and seek to help you “take a new grip” on your faith. Click Here if you’d like to join us and FINISH STRONG!!
Spiritual Formation Pastor