Don’t know if you’ve had the opportunity to watch any of the Winter Olympics.  I’ve taken some time to watch some events here and there.  Last week in particular I was really intrigued by the event known as the Skeleton.  If you aren’t up on that event (or aren’t watching the Olympics) the event can be described as follows.  Skeleton is an Olympic event in which a person rides a small sled down a frozen track while laying face down, during which the rider experiences forces up to 5 g and reaches speeds over 80 mph.  For me, it looks like it would be a huge adrenaline rush!  I can guarantee you though that I will not be participating in that event in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  Why, you ask?  With the weather we’ve had this winter, we most certainly could build a frozen track somewhere nearby.  The reason I won’t is that last week I celebrated my birthday and God willing in four years will hit the half century mark.  So, with my aging body and lack of athleticism/speed, I’m quite confident that the Olympics are not in the Lord’s will for me.
As I watched that event, in some ways it reminded me of life on the Earth.  You start out with lots of energy, but you better strap on your helmet (or as believers in Christ, we better strap on the armor of God), because the twists and turns of life happen quickly as we race at lightning speed towards the finish line.  The main difference, however, is that we are not aware when our life on Earth will be complete.
As I write today, my heart is heavy for friends who have recently had loved ones pass away.  For some of them, their loved ones were young.  They were taken from this Earth before we would have expected them to be.  For me, whenever I am encountered with death, it causes me to reflect on my life. 
I find myself asking the following questions:
Question: Am I being obedient to God’s Word? 
I remember when my son was in Cubbies, he was learning a verse found in James.  The reason it sticks out to me, in addition to what it says, is the way that he learned it.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22 ESV)
Or, as my son learned it, “Don’t just listen to the word…” (now if you want to be like my son you have to scream this part as loud as you can) “…DO WHAT IT SAYS!”
Question: Do I have unconfessed sin in my life that is hindering my relationship with the Lord?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV)
Question: Am I holding grudges or harboring bitterness towards others?
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV)
Question: Am I giving my all to the opportunities that the Lord has placed in front of me?  Am I glorifying God with how I’m living my life?
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24 ESV)
Question: Am I living my life in fear? 
Sometimes I’m even challenged at what I’m fearful of: fear of failure, fear of imperfection, or fear of success.  As a result, am I clinging to the same promise that the Lord gave to Joshua?
“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV)
Question: Am I putting the Lord first and putting others above myself?
“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31 ESV)
In looking over all these passages, I’m reminded once again that God gave us the Bible not to be looked at as a book of rules, but because He loves us.  He wants us to be in close relationship with Him.  That He would want to be in relationship with me is both mind boggling and extremely humbling.  The Bible is for our benefit and if we live in obedience to His Word, we can live a life of no regrets!
So thankful to share in this life with you!
Mr. D