If I had to choose between my wife and my putter... well, I’d miss her.
He sees usHe saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Mark 6:48
This phrase really jumped out of the text as I read Mark 6 recently. Now I must have read Mark 100s of times but never noticed the verse before. I spent the first week of the Beijing Olympics writing about rowing for the Oxford Mail. I got to know several of the GB team. I came to have a great deal of admiration for them in their physically demanding sport.
What struck me first in their verse was that Jesus noticed the effort the disciples were making. As I read the words “straining at the oars”, I could see the faces of the GB quad sculls in the water in Shunyi. They had led beyong the 2,500 metre mark but were overtaken at the end by the Chinese. They were certainly “straining at the oars” but it was not enough.
I know that Mark 6:48 is not primarily about competitive rowing – unless perhaps the disciples were in three boats of quad scullers – but there is a deep truth within it. Jesus saw the effort that the disciples were putting in and he sees the effort we make when we train. Are we giving all or are we free-wheeling when no one is looking?
In a game do we continue to play for our team, giving 100%, when the game is already won – or lost? As Paul writes in Colossians 3:17 – whatever you do…do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and that must mean giving 100%