"Free Beer for Quitters!"
For the first time in my life, I ran the Broad Street 10 Miler earlier last month. Countless numbers of people lined the sidewalks giving out high fives and cheering on the 40,000 runners as we passed by. Experiencing our city come together like that was amazing. And the signs! Many people made signs to encourage us saying things like, "You Got This!" or "Pain Now, Brunch Later." But the sign that was most memorable to me came in the last three miles of the race.
As the course took us through South Philly, I saw some guys with a cooler holding a sign that read, "Free Beer for Quitters!"
Well, there you have it. This sign shared a clearer message of grace than any of the "You've Got This!" signs I'd seen before. "Free Beer for Quitters!" is an invitation for those who have met their match or reached the end of their striving in this race. For those who can admit their own defeat, they receive a reward.
I like to think that when it comes to life, "I've got this!" but the truth about me is, I don't. I don't "have it." I don't measure up to the standards of the world and I certainly fall short of the perfection religion demands. At the end of the day, I don't have what it takes to make myself righteous. I can pretend all I want. or I could quit pretending, admit the truth about myself, and accept the consequences. And you know what? I don't think I'm alone in knowing this about myself.
The good news is that for those of us who are done proving and performing; posturing and pretending in life in order to show that "You've Got This!" there is a great reward. Quitters of this kind receive a reward far superior to free beer.
We call it grace. The reckless love of God to free us to quit trying to posture and pretend. The freedom to admit the truth about ourselves and accept His gift in return.
He invites us to die to our self (quit) and come dine with Him ("free beer"). Let's drink up!
This blog originally appeared on "At the Table," the blog of The Table Philadelphia.