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Doctrine in dialogue format
deceived; God is not
whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
"Hi-de-ho everybody. This is Michael Jay Busybody at the Anytown coliseum talking to Victor Triumphant, winner of the grueling Ride Across America bicycle race. Mr Triumphant please tell me how it feels to have gained such success and notoriety almost overnight."
"First I must disagree with you Mr Busybody. It is true that my name has not appeared in many of the tabloids and magazines of note. But my success was hard won, taking all my efforts and my dedication for many years. You must realize Mr Busybody, only the winner of any race is ever given credit and notoriety. Runners-up, although just a split second from the winning time and right on the heels of the winner, are relegated to the no-man's-land of obscurity. But nonetheless, those who did not make the limelight in any given competition are gaining the experience and the ability to be future winners."
"That's very interesting Mr Triumphant. I've known this of course, but I hadn't thought about it in quite those terms. So then Mr Triumphant, am I to take it that you were not as surprised by your win as I would have imagined you to be since you had so much training in the past?"
"Not at all Mr Busybody. I was certainly surprised and delighted that I came out the winner of this race. But there are certain factors about such a race that people in general do not think about. Realize that such a race requires total dedication of the participant and an incredible amount of sacrifice. One must go with but two hours sleep a night for days on end, and gorge themselves with high energy foods in order to maintain the strength and the stamina demanded for success. In essence we become human machines being pushed to the brink of endurance, and this day and night for a solid week. When the body is being pushed to the maximum of its ability, other parts of the body must suffer lack of needed requirements. One such body part is the brain. So as a consequence, the brain functions at a depleted capacity and very often shuts down or causes the athlete to exhibit rather bazaar behavior such as lack of mental adroitness, and aggression toward his assistants and team mates. Because of this deficiency it is very likely that the winner of such a race is not aware that he is the winner, or even that the race is over. Have I explained myself clearly enough to you Mr Busybody?"
"I do believe you have Mr Triumphant, and perhaps even more than was needful. I should imagine Mr Triumphant that winning such a race would cause you to feel rather proud and even a bit superior knowing that you are now among the fastest bicycle riders in the world, if indeed not the fastest. And that you've accomplished this entirely on your own, meaning there was no you could rely on to assist you."
"Quite the contrary Mr Busybody. Quite the contrary. For one thing a great deal of luck is involved in winning such a race. It certainly is true that one must be in top condition, and that one must have superior physical and mental gifts shall I call them in order to even compete in such a race. But realize that I was just a half a bicycle length ahead of the man who was second to me. Had I encountered a single flat tire more than I did, or taken even a very brief spill, or a dozen other possibilities, I would have not even had my name recorded as competing in this race, just as has occurred in many races before this one."
"Thank you for that explanation Mr Triumphant. However, what I am trying to get to is your your ego, that is to say, your personal feelings about yourself and your great achievement. I understand that luck enters in to a win such as you have made, but beyond this, you did ride the bicycle by yourself. Therefore, the win is yours and belongs to no other. Isn't that so Mr Triumphant?"
"Again I must disagree with your conclusion Mr Busybody. By no means was I alone in my win. It is a rare event that produces a winner that can claim the entire prize as his or her own. Consider a football game. We hail the player who makes the final point of the game. But that touchdown was not accomplished alone. There were lineman who threw their bodies into the line of scrimmage and took the bruises that would have belonged to that runner who made the point. There were tight ends who ran interference for the runner with the ball. Much sacrifice is made by many players so that the winning point can be made. This is true of not only sports but of any endeavor you might think of. Consider for instance a singer who cuts a record that sells a million copies. There are a multitude of experts working behind the scenes making sure that record is exactly so. There are musicians, as good as any in the limelight, who without recognition of any kind, give there all for the success of that record that only boosts the popularity and the income of the singer and none of the other participants per se."
"Thank you Mr Triumphant for your loquacious explanation circumventing the question I was asking you. Again I say, and correct me if I'm wrong, you alone crossed the finish line. That is, you had to ride your bicycle unaided and therefore you retain the glory. How does it feel to wear such a crown?"
"No Mr Busybody, I did not ride my bicycle alone. I was assisted every step of the way by my very expert and proficient team of assistants. Consider the mechanics who had to be at the ready for any and every slightest difficulty I might encounter. Again, consider the riders who rode in front of me, taking the bunt of the wind enabling me to ride in relative ease because of their sacrifice. These men, every one of them, have had to train just as hard and as long as I have in order for me to make this win. Every one of those riders are, to one degree or another, just as capable a rider as I am. We all had to train to our absolute max, and devote every moment of our time, and every fiber of our being to this race in order to make this win. I wear the crown Mr Busybody, but I did not win this crown alone. It was a team effort. And like any other athletic endeavor, or even a war, there has had to be a great deal of sacrifice on the part of many people to bring this victory about. A minor inability or slip on any one of our part might very well have cost us the crown. Have I made my point clear in my gabby way Mr Busybody?"
"Yes, I believe you have Mr Triumphant. I see that you do not desire to take all the glory for yourself. I find this commendable. And I also believe your sharing the glory to be a rare trait. I knew, of course, that one who takes on such a challenge as the race you have just concluded must sacrifice a great deal of their time and effort to even participate in such an event. But I had not considered the extent of such a sacrifice and the utter devotion to the task one must impart. Nor had I realized there were so many others beside the participant himself who were making an equal sacrifice. Thank you for enlightening me and my listening audience as to the dedication one such as yourself must possess for the job you have chosen to take on."
"You are entirely welcome Mr Busybody. I try in every way I can to warn those people who are looking to participate in any endeavor what they must endure, and this for a lifetime, if they expect to succeed. Far too many youngsters, and oldsters for that matter, believe they can half-heartedly dabble at something and make a success of it. That just doesn't happen. It doesn't matter what the field or interest, much work and sacrifice is demanded if a person wants to even make a decent appearance, leastwise come out on top. Those who are at the top of their game make what they do appear easy and accessible to all. But what is not seen by those viewing the event is the total dedication, sacrifice, and a lifetime of concentrated effort that led to that display of ease. It's important that those who desire success consider what their life will be like, and to consider the cost of such a decision before they begin. If they don't consider these costs, they will have nothing but heartache and disappointment farther down the road."
"Thank you again Mr Triumphant for that graphic bit of information. And might I inquire sir into the cross you wear on your jacket? Am I correct in assuming by it that you are a Christian?"
"You certainly may Mr Busybody. I've grown up in the church you might say. I consider myself to be not only a Christian, but a very staunch one at that. Yes Mr Busybody, I am indeed a Christian."
"Indeed you say. Then might I also take it Mr Triumphant that you exhibit and demand of yourself the same dedication and devotion to the pursuit of those things of the church as you do your other fields of interest such as athletics and music? That is to say sir, I suppose you study your Bible regularly and with fervor, and that you work with your church in some strong capacity?"
"Well, no Mr Busybody. You know how it is. It's a matter of priorities you know. I have my training and my music that I must keep at if I wish to succeed at that which I consider my life's direction. I am left with but very little time or resources to spend on such things as church or reading. But someday, perhaps when I retire, I'll take up those things you just mentioned. Indeed I will."
6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.....12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:)
61And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:)
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (Rom 12:)
13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. (Mat 3:)
23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:....32But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 34For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 35Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Heb 10:)
24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1Cor 9:)
12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many...... 21And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. (1Cor 12:)
15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth..... 21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev 3:)
3For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5For every man shall bear his own burden. 6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.(Gal 6:)
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