I love reading t-shirt slogans. I find it interesting to see what people want to proclaim so boldly as they walk down the street and sometimes I actually find them to be hilarious. So, I was in the Phoenix airport and I spotted the back of a t-shirt worn by a young man and it said, “The faster you run the faster you get there.”
Well, I wish I would have been bold enough to stop and talk to him about how he understood his shirt. I almost formed a quick judgement (well, truth be told I did form a quick judgement) but then I tried to put the best construction on the saying and began asking myself some questions.
The big question for me was how does he (or anyone) define “there.” My sense is that many people are running fast with no clue as to where they are going so they have no clue as to when they arrive at the elusive “there.” They are so busy running that they don’t believe they have the time to reflect upon why they are running or where they are running to. They just run until they drop, and, in the process they tend to miss the joys of the journey.
Some people do have a definition for “there.” “There” becomes power (corner office), fame (name recognition), wealth (massive salary) and a huge a prestigious McHouse or McPenthouse. Nothing wrong with any of these (I’ll take one of each please) but if one does this type of running without reflection one can miss that there is a fundamental “there” that gets missed in the process.
Sometimes it is ok to run (or walk) with no purpose because it gives time to reflect about direction and to define the “there.” Taking the time to reflect (a.k.a. stopping to smell the roses) gives one the space to discern what the elusive “there” might be. Reflection would find that power can be used on behalf of the marginalized and wealth can be had with a social conscience that benefits the entire community. Housing can be used for hospitality and service. In other words, most “theres” can be abused or they can used to the glory of God.
One other thought that I had regarding the t-shirt, and actually my first thought, was that the faster you run the faster you die. I was thinking of the conversations that I hear regarding individuals and families being so busy and it just struck me that the stress of constantly running can take its toll.
Then I thought of Abraham. God told him to move but wouldn’t tell him where he was going. God just said that Abraham would be told when he got there. I think that fits here. Running in faith, knowing that God is leading, and the Spirit tells you when you are “there.”
Then I think of Paul with his encouragement to run toward the prize and to seek that which is laid before us. God lays out the “there” and it is the victory in Christ. Well worth running toward.
So, I am concluding that this guy was wearing a fascinating t-shirt and that it has given me a great deal to think about. I don’t think I have any one conclusion and I think that each of my thoughts has some merit.
But, for me, right now, I have no desire to get anywhere faster. I just want to enjoy the journey.
What does anyone think?