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Doing a Rosie!

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This is going to be hard to believe, but in 1980 a young lady named Rosie Ruiz cheated her way to a win at the Boston Marathon. How does someone do that? Many believe Rosie jumped onto the subway for sixteen miles, then got off the subway, then got back into the marathon, and crossed the finish line! Her cheating was found out and, of course, she was stripped of her “first place” champion title. The story made headlines and Rosie acquired public notoriety and lasting name recognition. To this day, “Doing a Rosie” is runners’ slang for cheating by taking a shortcut.

It’s obvious that the Boston Marathon didn’t mean enough to Rosie for her to put in the “blood, sweat, and tears” it takes to do it right. Winning by cheating is a shallow victory at best. As the saying goes, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” We should all love what we do enough to do it with all our heart and might – not park ourselves halfway down the road and squat or cheat our way to an unearned “achievement .”

Will Rogers once said that the road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces! So true – it’s easy to park and ride! It takes diligence to persevere and not shut down. Sammy Davis Jr – once billed as the “greatest living entertainer in the world” – knew that hard work and diligence had its payoff: “If you want to be the best, baby, you’ve got to work harder than anybody else!” Let’s face it – there are really no shortcuts to a truly prosperous and victorious life – be it in sports, cultivating a strong relationship with God, or becoming a success in the secular arena.

A while back, there was a lady who occasionally came to church and would always come up for prayer – she would literally cry, wanting to grow closer to God. I always felt sorry for her; at the time, I couldn’t understand why God didn’t show up in a greater way in her life. But, one day, I came across a verse in Proverbs 13:4 that shed a whole new light on this subject: “The soul of the sluggard desires, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” Another translation ends with this: “He will end up with all that he longed for.” Bingo!

That was it.

Lights went on in my brain as I realized that we can sing the songs, and talk the talk, but building a close and strong relationship with God requires real effort, intention and time – just like any other relationship. We can all be as sincere as a heart attack in this, but, as the song goes – “Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby, ain’t nothing like the real thing!” Truth is, “Doing a Rosie” can’t short-cut you to a strong, vibrant, and thriving connection with God.

There are a lot of “if-then’s” in life. To your three-year-old, “If you eat your green beans, then you’ll get dessert.” To your young child, “If you behave at school this semester, then we’ll go to Disneyland.” To your high-schooler, “If you get straight A’s for an entire year, then (maybe), we’ll buy you a car.”

The Bible is also full of “if-then’s” and checking out Proverbs 2:1-5, we find an essential answer for the “how to’s” of a closer relationship with God. We are told that if we treasure the commands of God, if we incline our ear to wisdom and apply our heart to understanding; if we cry out for discernment and lift up our voice for understanding, if we seek it as silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures; then we will grasp what it means to truly respect the Eternal and we will find that we know God!

Saint Augustine (354-430) made an amazing observance – so glad he took the time to write it down: “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him the greatest human achievement.” A relationship with the Eternal God is both free and priceless, and as A.W. Tozer so rightly put it: “Always, everywhere God is present, and always He seeks to discover Himself to each one.” So, don’t even think about “Doing a Rosie” with God – it just doesn’t work!

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Bob and Susan Beckett pastor the Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you may contact them at DPCityChurch.org

Susan Beckett | Dwelling Place City Church

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