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#5kMay2020 Blog (Day 29)

Today was the last 5k before #5kMayhem. To say I am a little excited would be putting it far too lightly. Tomorrow is going to be an epic day!

Like good little runners, we had some pasta for dinner and have been hydrating all day. Tomorrow morning we will be putting that water and hydration to use. I will be attempting the #5kMayhem from my house, and Jodi and our three oldest girls will be joining Paul & Cindy Mullet at the Fredericksburg trail head for at least the first part of the day. They each want to see how far they can go. I think they are going to rock it!

Daily Run: I ended up running 4 easy miles in 31 minutes and 45 seconds, which was an average pace of 7:54 per mile. This has been a rather low mile week for me, but that’s probably good. We’ll be putting plenty of miles under our feet tomorrow!

Daily Bible Reading: I love the insight that we get in John 17. Here we see a glimpse into the intimate, personal prayer time of our LORD Jesus.

Having spoken the words that He felt it was necessary to say to His disciples, He lifts His eyes to heaven at the beginning of John 17, and He begins to pour His heart out to His Father in prayer.

One of the most interesting lines in the entire prayer is located near the beginning.

“… this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

John 17:3, ESV

I’m not sure what your picture of “eternal life” is like. I have several different images running through my mind when I think of “eternal life”. I think of streets of gold. I think of reuniting with family members who have passed. I think of angels, elders, and saints surrounding the throne in worship. Here in John 17:3, I believe we see the essence of eternal life. Knowing God.

God is not the way by which we are able to access the treasure of eternal life. God IS the treasure!

Author and Pastor, John Piper, once  said:

“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?”

—John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself

How we answer that question, I believe, reveals whether or not we even understand what eternal life is all about. Heaven, without Jesus, would be eternal hell.

There is an old, unsubstantiated legend about a young Albert Einstein who once humiliated his university professor with a series of questions. The exchange went like this:

A university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”

“God created everything?” the professor asked.

“Yes sir,” the student replied.

The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil.” The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”

“Of course,” replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?” The students snickered at the young man’s question.

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”

The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”

The professor responded, “Of course it does.”

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir. Darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”

Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

Though this story most likely never factually took place, the points within remain. Like cold that comes when there is no heat, and darkness that comes when there is no light, evil truly is the result of what happens in the absence of God. 

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