Tuesday, November 27, 2012


My sun sign is Libra: the scales. Before I make a decision, I balance everything out. I weigh, sniff, taste every alternative. It is said that people waiting for a Libra to make a decision will time the process with a calendar rather than a stop watch. I’m not that bad. At least, I don’t think I am. Wait a minute. Maybe I am. But then, I might not be. Hmm. Can I get back with you?

But when the Libra finally does make the decision, you might as well sit down and make yourself comfortable. I can, at all times, be persuaded by opposing facts, but until that happens, I have driven my tent stakes ten feet into the ground (they are very long, heavy tent stakes) and it takes an act of God to blow away my conviction.

This is where we all need to be in the closing days of this eon: decisive and then sure. We must weigh the facts of every matter (family matters, spiritual matters, matters concerning our bodies and health) and make decisions. When we’ve made them, we must trust the reasons we made them, and stick with those reasons until other facts redirect us. Because, folks, the winds are going to blow.

When you run a marathon—a 26.2 mile race—you always wonder—usually somewhere after the 20-mile mark—why the hell you decided to run a marathon. It seemed like such a good idea a couple months before, while dreaming of the glory of crossing the finish line during an easy training run.

Then comes the race. It’s fun at first (I have run five marathons). The excitement of running with great gobs of people and drinking as many free cups of Gatorade as you can choke down, makes you glad you entered. But then comes the 20-mile mark. As the waffles at the bottoms of your shoes melt into the pavement, you question your sanity. And how can there be so many other stupid idiots in one place, doing the same stupid thing?

While suffering, it is easy to talk yourself off the course. When your legs start cramping and you can’t slake your thirst anymore, you must trust that you had good reasons for being here. You can’t think of one of them now—it’s true—but you know you had at least a couple. Thus, the marathon now becomes a run of faith. You already made the decision—now keep going. Try to remember the days when you had weighed this out, and decided to do it.

None of us decided to be born. But we did decide to get married. To have kids. To take that job. To buy the car. To start the exercise program. To follow Christ no matter what. I have heard so many of you say, “I can’t turn back now. How can I go back?” I hate to say this but, relatively speaking, you can go back. You can quit the fight. I know that’s a scary thought, but it’s real. This happened with some of Paul’s closest companions.

“Demas, loving this current eon, forsook me” (2 Timothy 4:9).

Incredibly, it happened with all the ecclesias of Asia:

“All those in the province of Asia were turned from me” (2 Timothy 1:15). They were turned, not just from Paul, but from his message.

We cannot lose membership in the body of Christ. But we can—by walking off the course—lose rewards at the dais of Christ given to those who endure (2 Timothy 2:12).

This is a marathon, folks, and it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

It ain’t over.

© 2012 by Martin Zender