Monday, March 18, 2013

Express Pass

My Daniel and I enjoy watching The Amazing Race. The places they go and the cool experiences the players get to have, let alone as they compete for great prizes, sounds like the perfect vacation to us.
The game incorporates a few twists and turns, like a life-size board game, that make the race tougher or easier. For example, sometimes teams get ‘U-Turned’ meaning they have to do both of the ‘Detour’ tasks instead of just the usual one required. That, obviously, slows teams down.
On rare occasion, a team can win an advantage called an ‘Express Pass.’ It’s exactly what it sounds like – a fast forward to the end of the leg, bypassing all the tasks, winning that leg’s prize, keeping that team in the race. Once this golden nugget is obtained, it is that team’s strategic discretion on how to use it. The logic, however, is that if the team in possession of the ‘Express Pass’ gets hung up on a task that puts them in last place, and therefore in danger of being eliminated from the race altogether, then they use the ‘Express Pass’ to complete that leg of the race ahead of everyone else.
Well, a couple Sunday’s ago, history was made when the team with the treasured ‘Express Pass’ came in last place and were eliminated! Ousted from the race while still in possession of the Pass.
How in the world did that happen? I mean, how can you give up the chance to win a million dollars, keep running a pretty cool race around the world, when all you had to do was cash in the pass and move forward?
It seems to me, from what I saw while watching the show, that the only reason they didn’t use it was to prove they could get through the tasks.
That, my friends, is called PRIDE. And not the good kind, by the way.
Amazingly enough, while the host, Phil, was telling this team they were no longer in the race, they insisted they did the right thing.
Even Phil shrugged his shoulders in bewilderment.
It got me thinking.
We’re all in the race of life. I like to think of it more as a journey, but Paul did encourage us to ‘run the race to obtain the prize.’ In the case of life, the prize he’s talking about is Heaven. The good news is that, unlike The Amazing Race, we don’t have to jump through hoops or attempt near-impossible feats to earn the right to continue. We don’t have to win the ‘Express Pass’ because it was purchased for us by Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross and His resurrection.
And it is for everyone – but you must choose to USE it!!!
Pride keeps us from a lot of benefits in life. Self-dependency is perhaps one of the most dangerous cultural conspiracies of our modern world. It’s much too common for people these days to make their own rules and still expect to win. The team holding the Express Pass doggedly stuck to their pride in their performance, almost ignoring the fact that they no longer had a chance to obtain the goal.
Paul tells Timothy, “…athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules.”
The Bible clearly tells us the rules of life that lead to winning the prize of Heaven. It may seem complicated at first, but really there’s only one rule – believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. THAT is the Express Pass. And all you have to do is USE IT.
Don’t find yourself on the mat without having used the pass. Know the Rule. Follow the Rule. Win the Prize.
Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends! Happy racing!
(photo by