I don’t consider myself a runner, but I do enjoy running.
Mainly I enjoy the morning air, listening to music and spending time outside before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
There is a general course around my neighborhood I like to run. The other day, as I was running, I noticed a large crack in the pavement. Also a few chunks of concrete had broken from the path. Around these chunks, and in between the crack, I could clearly see grass beginning to sprout.
As I carefully stepped along the more stable sections of the road, I remembered just a few years ago when that particular road had been redone. Giant machines huffed and puffed as abundant manpower was dedicated to executing expensive and thoughtful plans.
Time. Energy. Resources. And at the end of it all, a beautiful and functional road.
I looked at this road and thought about everything that had gone into making it. As I did, and considered the budding sprouts now poking through, I had a thought:
The grass wins.
Hundreds of pounds of concrete, tar and… road stuff all piled on meticulously-formed and reformed earth. And a few years later? The concrete splits, the tar erodes, the ground shifts, and slowly but surely… the grass wins.
This is not just true for roads. This is a general principle we all know, yet are hesitant to admit.
You can eat nothing but kale all day – every day (which I do).
You can do 100 pushups, 1000 sit-ups, and run 26.2 miles every day (which I do).
And some day, some doctor is going to sit down and tell you – the grass wins.
Your body will break down.
From dust we were made, and to dust we will return.
The troubling thing for me, if I’m going to be honest, is that temporary things are what I worry about most. They are constantly at the forefront of my thoughts, investments and time. I worry about a house, cars, my 401k, clothes and the latest technology – as Matt Chandler says, “The stuff of future garage sales.”
The truth is, no matter how big a machine I get, no matter how much money I invest, no matter how much man power I can summon to build, fortify, and protect the walls of my kingdom, in the end – the grass wins.
I know this may seem like a very morose or pessimistic idea, but it doesn’t have to be.
Thinking about this reality can afford us the opportunity to evaluate ourselves with a simple diagnostic question: Am I sacrificing the things of this world to get the things of God or am I sacrificing the things of God to get the things of this world?
So much of what I invest my time, energy, resources and hopes in can easily be taken away in just one simple phone call. But if my trust is in the unshakable foundation of Christ, I’m okay with that – because Jesus can never be taken away.
That doesn’t mean all of life, possessions or investments are bad by any stretch. They can be wonderful. But as we accumulate, we always must remember: Jesus is enough.
As Charles Studd once said, “Only one life; ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
When the grass wins in your life, what will remain?
Let it be Jesus.