Know Your Rights

I got up early this morning to run an independent 10K before everything else I had to get done today.

I got first and last place with the time of 61 minutes 53 seconds. And I almost threw up, but didn’t because there was nothing for my stomach to rid itself of.

If I had spilled my guts right there next to my mailbox that would have been ok. Getting 6.2 miles done in a respectable time for the day was way more worth it over walking the last mile or even sleeping in. The bed tried to tell me that it was, in fact, more worthy of my attention. And I wanted to believe it, I really did. I even snoozed one time. But I couldn’t stay there too long- I couldn’t give up my birthright. Let me explain:

There’s this story in a less popular portion of Genesis. I think it’s less popular either because it has fewer animals and is therefore not as prone to being  portrayed in a puppet ministry, or because the moral of the later part of the story seems to be “God blesses liars and tricksters.”

The story I’m referring to is that of the twin brothers Jacob and Esau. Esau was the first born and as such was entitled to a much more significant blessing and inheritance (they were kind of one in the same in this culture). That left Jacob as the still loved, but noticeably less favored of the two when it came to his dying father’s blessing/will.

One day while Esau was out hunting, riding on whatever his version of an ATV is, Jacob rather effeminately (again, culture) stayed home and cooked a delicious stew. When Essau returned he was so hungry and begged Jacob for a bowl of stew:

Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some that red stew, for I am exhausted!‘ … Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright now.‘ Esau said, ‘I am about to die, of what use is a birthright to me?’ Jacob said, ‘Swear to me now.‘ So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Genesis 25:30-34 ESV

Esau sold his birthright for something so meaningless, so fleeting.

My alarm clock is labeled “Don’t Sell Your Birthright!”

I figured I have the right to become as healthy as possible, the right to run for an hour in the morning. And even more than that, I have the right to be as disciplined as possible as I attack my day. I have the right to use my time well. I have the right to ignore the calls of the television and funny cat videos. I have the right to read as many books as I want and become wiser in the process. I have the right to a degree and to a great job. I will not settle for less because it is my right. I will not trade it for something less.

Look, I may not know where you are in life. You might be trucking full speed taking advantage of every right you have. You might be like my friend Brett who just yesterday ran 65 miles in one day. Awesome. Keep going. But if life isn’t quite what you expected or what others expected for you, be encouraged: You still have a birthright. You’re here, right? Every day is what you make of it. Do not sell your birthright of today for anything.

Today is your birthright. What are you going to make of it?

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9 comments

  1. Chad, I have unknowingly been not selling my birth right this week. I had previously been selling it to silly video websites and yahoo.com news and more movies and tv shows than I could even stomach to watch. So I decided to return those things in exchange for working on my writing. I recently published a short story I wrote (Shameless plug http://tinyurl.com/7bdbkt5 ), and am working on finishing my novel. Good to know we can be on the same page in different countries.

  2. Chad this was really motivating and inspiring. I’ve been willing myself to be healthier, and this is one of the things that gave me the boost to climb up to that peak.

  3. I know it is late and you won’t respond, but I have to tell you that you ministered to me and made me cry. You see, something happened today that has made me 99% certain that I am quitting the teaching profession (as opposed to the 75% certainty of yesterday).

    Looking for job related to writing … editing …

    (pssst – Chad! *fewer* animals)


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