On Saturday I watched my brother run a triatholon. Watching people run/swim/bike is unique. It is one of the few times where there is actually more fun in spectating than there is in participating. At least from where I stood.
Anyhow, the organization of the event (by Sarasota cops) was a step below “incredibly poor.” There were no mile markers, bikes were spread out all over the place, and there was no map of the running route.
That lead to a few problems. The huge Red Bull arc was placed not at the finish line but instead just off the beach, about 1/6 mile from the finish. So people like my brother were encouraged by volunteers to sprint to a “finish line” that wasn’t even the finish line.
But the worst part was the fact that the home stretch overlapped with another part of the course. So as my brother was about to actually finish the race, he was instructed to go “another loop” by a volunteer. A different volunteer he talked to had no clue, so my sister-in-law and I actually had to chase him down in flip-flops and instruct him that he simply needed to cross the actual finish line.
Untrained volunteers made the run and race harder and longer than it actually was. No one needs to make tri-atholons any harder than they are. At least I would assume that’s the case.
That’s what folks have always done with the gospel. People have always tried to make the Christian life harder than it is (and its plenty hard without folks adding to it). It started with circumcision in Galatia and I’m sure each following generation has its own attempt to burden those young in the faith. (alcohol, schooling, specific child rearing, cultural retreatism, etc….)
But loving the Lord God with all of our heart, mind, strength and neighbor as ourselves is a 24-7 job. And not easy. Folks that try to add to it are actually forgetting these ‘simple’ words of Jesus. Why would anyone want to make the Christian life harder than it already is?