I watch reality shows. I admit it. My favourite used to be Amazing Race but I stopped watching several years ago because I was tired of coaching from my living room with no one taking my advice (I’ve since turned to blogging). Nearly everyone makes the same error and it’s not just on the Amazing Race - it happens on almost every reality TV show.
Hebrews 12:1, Therefore since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
I taught grade 4 Sunday School this year and Hebrews 12:1 was one of our memory verses. As an object lesson, I put the kids in two teams and set up a race. I told them that their instructions were to get from the starting line to the finish line. It was clearly marked with masking tape. I asked the kids to repeat back the instructions so I was sure they knew what to do.
As the first kids were about to start, I put a Kleenex on their foot and I gave each of the kids in the line a Kleenex too. Then as each child approached the starting line, I added different obstacles. For example, for one child I told him to put on large adult Sorel snow boots. I used skipping ropes to tie up the legs on another child. One child I told him to follow me and we walked around the hallway before I brought him back to the starting line. For another, I extended the line with masking tape. Another child carried a pitcher of water on his head.
The children were also excellent at keeping the others in line. After the first child managed to the finish line with the Kleenex still on their foot, the precedence was set like jello and they took care of policing themselves. When one child tucked the Kleenex in her shoe to keep it from falling off, they looked at me to referee. I just shrugged. Finally we were done – 10 children, 10 different added obstacles.
As we sat down to the lesson, I asked them to repeat the instructions I had given them. And then I asked them why they didn’t follow them. I watched their faces and it was pretty much simultaneous when the lesson hit their minds and their eyes flashed understanding.
We get off course, we go places we don’t need to, we give others our power and authority and we focus on what others are or are not doing. Distraction. It gets to most of us and it’s the #1 mistake that every participant on a reality TV show makes. They get caught up in the drama and lose focus on why they are there – to win.
I wish that we were all like Nehemiah when he said to his distracters, I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you? (Nehemiah 6:3) Let’s run the race marked out for us – for us, not for anyone else. Like a racehorse, let’s keep our eye on the prize, which is Christ. If you have to, put on blinders so you see only what the Lord has put in front of you.
What distracts you from running the race? I’ll answer too in the comments.