Summary: living according to calling and purposes of God.
“So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.” John 20:3-8
Starting is all good but finishing is better. In any sporting competition the final whistle will announce the victor. So true it is with your life. You may be late but refuse to be last. You may be slow but be sure of what you are doing. So many people in life are just running aimlessly. Life is all about purpose and focus .You may be a looser ninety nine times and win once you still will get the certificate of success and not even one of failure. There is something more to him/her that is purposeful in life than those who take pride in outdoing others, those who take pride in outrunning Peter.
There are people in life who just want to be seen ahead for nothing. People who want to be first but they add no value to the world. People who need to be in positions of influence, positions of authority yet they do not deliver beneficial results. That’s greediness and it’s a sin. I know that you want to be rich, successful, the first to do such and such. Now I want you to ask yourself why you want to be all that for yourself, for your family, for your nation, for the world and for God. If you have a clear answer for the first question only then you don’t deserve to be what you want to be. You just want to outrun Peter. You don’t have any purpose for your desire then it is a vain dream. Sit down and take your time to have a purposeful desire then get started for it. Whether others are ahead of you or not just concentrate on your purposeful dream.
In the scripture above Jesus had died, buried and rose. It was an early Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene first noted that the stone at the grave had been rolled away and the tomb was empty. When he mentioned that to the disciples they started running to the tomb to see if what they heard was true. As usual some are faster than others for good or for bad reasons. In this instance the other (unnamed but it was John) disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. Instead of getting in the tomb to verify what they heard and by that possibly by shouting he would have helped Peter’s anxiety that it was true Jesus had risen. He just aimlessly looked inside and stopped there. Thank God for Peter, he slowly but surely arrived and without wasting much time he went straight into the tomb. The first disciple only saw the strips of linen but Peter saw the strips of linen, burial cloth and how it was placed, were Jesus was laid, where His head had been, how big the tomb was, what it looked like etc. After that the other disciple also joined Peter inside. The two had a purpose of confirming if what they heard was true and thoroughly examining the tomb. Peter fulfilled the purpose better than the other disciple.
This is very true for your life today. You have a purpose to live a great, successful, blessed, victorious, faithful, and holy and God fearing life. Are you not living a life of outrunning Peter? Outrunning Peter is to do things hurriedly, seriously but not fulfilling the purpose. It is good to be fast and outran others but are you fulfilling the purpose. Do you know why you are that fast, where do you want to get to, what do you want to do when you get there? Are getting the results of your busyness, seriousness, studying heavily, strictness etc. Refuse to be good for nothing. Refuse to be the best but useless. Refuse to be a manager with no results. Don’t just be a pastor who is not fulfilling the calling. I want you to stop for a while and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing and if at all you are getting the intended results. Don’t just be zealous to be seen as if you are good when in actual fact you just outrunning Peter. If you are like that let me tell you. Peter is coming, if you think you have seen it all just wait a little bit, Peter will see the rest, he will not only get to the your level, position, achievement, office but he/she is going to do seven times more than best. He/she is going to fulfill the purposes of being there. Don’t be glad you are the first, because if Peter arrives you shall be embarrassed one day. Live purposefully, all you do, do it focusing on the reasons for doing such things don’t just do for the sake of doing. Do as if doing it for God.