Untie the Rope
Heard an excellent message this morning from evangelist Dave MacFarlane with the Billy Graham Association: "Love, Laugh, Live".
This English sounding man raised in South America gave a humorous but impactful sermon full of personal illustrations. The one which I shall remember involved his favourite sport on the tropical river - skulling. He painted a beautiful picture of coming down to the water in the mist of early morning, of delicately squatting and moving to the rower's position, of gripping the oars and willing tired muscles to begin. But it did not seem that he was making any progress. He pulled harder. Still no progress. No change of scenery. Again harder. Then through groggy eyes he looked down to the end of the boat to discover that he had not yet untied from the dock!
This was his illustration for "letting go". So many in the Church and indeed in the world row with the handicap of unforgiveness, of past abuse, of personal foul-ups and embarrassments, of confrontations not yet healed, of fears of recurring tragedy. Life will not change, dreams will not be realized until the rope is untied or cut.
The Apostle Paul, envoy extraordinaire, one time pursuer and killer of Christians could have been paralyzed by guilt and sordid memories. But what was his testimony?
12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.