The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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     One day on the week following my experience with the water sprinklers during an attempt to jog at the high school football stadium, I returned to the track in order to continue my training for the summer Olympic Games that would soon occur (Note: I was preparing for the 2000 Games. In other words, I was much younger and could still run a little). To my dismay, I was unable to open the gate and proceed to the track. I noticed, however, that one individual had managed to slip through a narrow opening between the gate and the corresponding fence post. He was preparing to run several miles around the track.    
     I decided that perhaps I could also squeeze through the opening in order to gain access to the running track. On my first (and only) attempt I quickly realized that although some of me could get through the gate, most of me had no chance whatsoever. The problem was simply “too much of me” to allow passage through the narrow gate and onto the track. My father probably would have said something like “Too much lard, son.” (His was a voice of experience inasmuch as he was well-acquainted with a few extra pounds.) After watching the lone runner begin his workout, I circled the stadium searching for an entrance that would allow me to go where the action was taking place. Finding no access, I jogged several laps on the outside of the stadium.
     Several important truths have come to mind since that day when I could not gain entrance to the track. The first truth is that a person who is unwilling to reduce the amount of “ME” in their lives will have a very difficult time negotiating the narrow gate referred to by Jesus as he delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus told his disciples to “Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, CEV). Rather than reducing the amount of “me” and enjoy running on the track of abundant life that Jesus came to offer, many people opt for the wide gate and seemingly are content to cruise along life’s perimeter.    
     Related to the above, the second truth is the fact that “too much of me” results in S-I-N. We should all recognize that S-I-N has a great big “I” right in the middle. Only Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Confessing Jesus as Lord but living with “too much of me” not only is inconsistent but is also impossible.

     Finally, many folks have a great deal of personal baggage in their lives that weigh them down. This heavy baggage may result from “too much of me.” Jesus wants to relieve you of these burdens. He invites us to, “Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Furthermore, Christian friends are poised to share the burdens of others during times of need (Gal. 6:5). “Focusing on the Lord” and “Forgetting about the lard,” will posture you to experience life to the fullest (John 10:10).

Dear Lord, my desire is to reduce the amount of “me” so that I may grow in my relationship with you and enjoy life to the fullest. Please encourage, challenge, and convict me to focus more on you and less on me. May my life be an example for others to follow. Amen.