This blog post was adapted from chapter one of Dr. Larry Taylor’s book, “Running with The Horses.”
“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5 NASB).
Did you notice that the verse mentioned two levels of the race: the “foot race” and then the “horse race”? We can equate the foot race with the portion of our lives that is lived in our comfort zones: settings in which it should be easy to be ourselves, to glorify Christ, and to Speak of Him freely and without hesitation. In contrast, the horse race is the areas of our lives that are lived among unreceptive coworkers, liberal family members, and those who are opposed to Christ.
My first experience with the horse race came in my junior year of college during my physiology class. My professor, Dr.Washington, began a lecture making strong claims that our ancestors evolved from oceanic waters, touting this origin of life theory called evolution as absolute truth.
I felt it was my duty to object, so I raised my hand. It was time to defend the truth. It was time to take a stand for the Lord.
Dr. Washington acknowledged my raised hand and asked, “Yes, Larry, do you have something to say?”
“Yes, sir,” I responded. “I would like to respectfully disagree with your statements about evolution-I do not believe my ancestors came from fish.” Wow that felt great, I thought.
To my surprise, Dr. Washington said, “Please stand and take as long as you’d like to explain to the class what it is that you believe.”
What? I thought to myself. Did he just ask me to explain my point? I had never been asked this before. My answer was over in twenty seconds. I didn’t know what to say. I did not know how to defend my belief system. It wasn’t love, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll that sent me spiraling that day; it was a horse by the name of Dr.Washington, a nice, intelligent, and articulate professor who knew what he believed.
This is the rationale that changed the training plan for me and, a few years later, for my children. I realized that although I had been attending a great church, the depth of training did not match the intensity of the real world-the horse race.
According to contemporary scholar Christian Smith, thirty-eight percent of adolescents attend church weekly; sixteen percent attend one to two times per month; thirty-one percent attend rarely; and fifteen percent never attend.
At this very moment, some of you are thinking that since you have young children this type of research does not apply to you. I could not encourage you enough not to fall prey to this notion. It is important to prepare our children for what they will be tempted to do. It is also essential to prepare them for what they will be encouraged to believe.
We have 6,570 days with our children from birth to diploma-each day should be purpose driven.