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All In

Willie is a cab driver in Chicago. He’s in his mid-fifties now and has been transporting people all over the city for upwards of twenty years.

I met Willie when he drove me from downtown to the O’Hare International Airport.

We made small talk for a bit. He asked where I was from and what I was doing in Chicago. I asked how long he’d live in the city and how he liked it.

He told me that prior to becoming a cab driver he’d been a professional boxer.

He told me all about his training, his travels, and his career. He talked about the discipline required to stay in peak condition and the drive to be constantly learning and improving.

Then he said something that has stayed with me.

“Boxing takes total commitment. You can’t be lax. If you slack off in training, you’ll get knocked out in the ring. No man can live two lives. Either you’re in or you’re out.”

I’m not boxer, but I still think about that all the time.

I think about what it means to be all in.

I think about whether I’m trying to live two lives – trying to spread my attention and energy in too many directions, trying to do and be more than God has called me to do and be.

I can’t say I’m at risk of getting knocked out on a daily basis – the way Willie was during his boxing career.

But I am at risk of making less of a difference in the world. I am at risk of being less of the person God has created me to be. I am at risk of doing less for the Kingdom of God than God intends.

I want to finish this life with cramping muscles and with lungs gasping for air because I ran so hard after what God called me to.

I don’t want to live two lives.

I want to be all in.

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