When I was a kid, I used to enter contests in events at family reunions, 4Th of July celebrations, summer community youth programs, Girl Scout camps and the like. There were two contests that I usually had a chance at winning; one was the water balloon/egg toss, and the other was the three-legged race.
In the three-legged race I'd bind our our ankles and knees together and then squeeze the other persons hip into mine with all my strength. When we ran the race tightly joined with each other, our two bodies becoming one, we would cross the finish line in victory. What made you successful at the three-legged race was if you could get so tightly connected to the other person that you began to move as one.
Those who lost, lost because even though they may have been connected, they were loose and weak connections. They were not tightly bound. They had connections that did not hold together through the forward movement of the race. Those teams usually fell down again and again, and often were disqualified because they spent more time on the ground than in the race!
Most of the Church is like this today. We are not tightly linked together, but instead loosely connected with superficial relationships of convenience. Since we are living and functioning as individual parts we often find ourselves falling and floundering. I hear again and again, people say, they feel isolated and alone in their journey.
Can you imagine a human body functioning in a way where it was not intimately connected and functioning as one? In fact, there are diseases of the immune system that parts of the body act as individuals and then attack it's own healthy cells. These cells are not functioning as one body and the results of that are devastating. This is not God's plan for our physical or the spiritual body.
In the book of Ephesians it says; " Christ the Head....from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." 4: 16.
If we, as the Body of Christ, are not tightly held together, we are in danger of falling again and again. Like those who couldn't complete the three-legged race in my illustration.
We need to be fitted and joined to one another. Tightly bound. It is the only way we can move forward and grow.
Are there those in your life that you are tightly bound to? Those that you can run the race with joined hip to hip? If yes, then great! Be an example to us and encourage us with what you have learned and walk in.
If not, why not? It is part of your provision in the Body of Christ to be so joined. Find the few around you that God has placed in your life for such connections and get tightly bound. You determine how tight the bonds are.
Paul exhorts us in 1 Cor. 9:24; "do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win."
May we all win our three-legged races!