The Chase

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Yesterday I plopped down on the couch after church. David, the 5th in the Kiedis line, is a huge NASCAR fan so it was no surprise the TV was tuned to the race. I watched as multiple split screens showed drivers flipping toggle switches that would "fire up" their rides.

NASCAR is an interesting sport. Drivers compete all season for one of twelve spots in The Chase, the NASCAR "playoff" for the Sprint Cup Championship.

While I watched the race, I perused an article about a football player.  Glen Coffee bypassed his Senior year at the University of Alabama to sign with the San Francisco 49rs of the National Football League. Yes, he is that good! Glen's future could be summed up in one word: BIG. As in big bucks and big fame. That was until yesterday when the 23-year-old announced his retirement after one season.

Glen was a punishing runner with size and speed. What could possibly pull him off the NFL gridiron? To borrow a phrase from NASCAR, it was THE CHASE.

"Actually when I look back I feel I never should have entered the draft in the first place," said Coffee, who left the University of Alabama after his junior year. "Football was no longer my dream. I found Christ in college. It changed my views on everything. But I still was a football player because it was expected of me, it was something I did all my life. I was basically wasting the [49ers'] time." "His will, I felt, wasn't football. I felt like I forced football because everyone expected me to play football. He told me a long time ago to walk away from the game."1

Glen's passion reminds me of the Apostle Paul, another man who turned his back on an impressive pedigree for THE CHASE:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:12-16 ESV)

Today you may be chasing a job, chasing your kids, chasing an education, chasing a buck, chasing a friendship, or chasing something else. That is simply a part of life. What we must remember is that THE CHASE, the daily pursuit of Jesus, supersedes every other pursuit.

Gentlemen (and ladies) start your engines!

STAY FOCUSED TODAY: What do you need to "leave behind" in order to pursue Christ today?


1 Glen Coffee on Sudden Retirement: 'I've Already Told Christ It's Time to Go.' Accessed August 15, 2010.