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The Unbeatable Obstacle

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“Did you sign your death waiver?”

Unless you are an obstacle course racer (OCR), this question likely sounds absurd. Yet weekend after weekend we willingly sign this document, essentially giving up our very lives for a shot at mud, pain, and fun. We’re all in this together so it’s just a big laugh. A nervous laugh.

Racers train all year round. We learn techniques to overcome the toughest obstacles. In the end, most of us only earn a medal and a t-shirt. For so little return, we keep coming back. 

Yet in civilian life, one obstacle is unbeatable. It has no workarounds, no cheats, no negotiation, no opt-outs, and no alternatives.

It is Death. God and experience tell us that everyone will die.

However, this “obstacle” has two options: heaven or hell. You must choose while you are still on earth’s course.

If you choose hell, there is no way back. No rope to climb out. No bell to ring to opt out. No team to pull you out. No crowd to encourage you to muscle through. No second chance.

If you choose heaven, there is only one way in. No one can help you. You cannot help yourself. No training required. No previous experience necessary. The crowd around you can only show you the way.

Once shown, you choose which way you will take to go through it. If you choose heaven, then you pass from death to eternal life. If you choose hell, then you remain dead forever.

When do I choose?

As an OCR athlete, you face obstacles every day. On the course. In life. At work. At home. Everywhere. You constantly learn and perfect your skills to beat these obstacles. As fast as you can. With minimal or no injury. Alone or as part of a team. Helping others along the way. Getting tougher, stronger, more flexible.

But no matter how good you are, sometimes you stand on the winner’s podium, sometimes you don’t. There are factors outside of your control. But you never hesitate. You hit every obstacle now with confidence.


Now is the day to choose heaven. Because no matter how good you are, you can’t beat death. So you must choose now the one and only path to life. This obstacle is the toughest you will ever face. Will you do it now?

Getting to the podium or just finishing an obstacle race feels good. But the finish line of life is death and that is unstoppable. Only God can do something about it. Only He has made a way to save you from death and hell.

The “secret technique” to this obstacle is to sit it out. You cannot beat it. God already did it for you. God gave His Son to beat this one obstacle for you. The podium prize is everlasting life.

The choice is one of belief. Either believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ and live, or choose not to believe and die. Jesus already ran and won this race. 

Awareness to make the choice comes as fellow racers point us to Jesus as the way out of death to life. This life may feel glorious, that podium may feel empowering, but compared to God, these are nothing. So unless somebody shows us the way, we will never know. 

We were born in sin. It is not the bad things we do (sins). It is the bad thing that we are (sinner). We do bad things (sin) because we are sinners. Because we are sinners, we are already dead in God’s eyes (even though we are alive in the flesh, it is our spirits that are dead).

How did Jesus beat death and how can He do that for us? We bleed a lot during our races. We pay the price there. But our blood won’t save us from death. Only Jesus’ shed blood death on the cross paid the price for all sinners and all sins forever. Yet He lives now to give new life to us who believe.

Don’t let the obstacles of church, religion, or family stop you from making the life choice. They cannot alter the reality of the death obstacle, nor can they take it away. You face it alone – now.

Will you by faith believe that Jesus Christ died for you, thereby beating death for you, that you may have the prize of eternal life with Him? Will you choose His substitutionary blood and death as sufficient for you to obtain the prize of life?

I’ll see you on the course. But will I see you in heaven?

Copyright © 2015 by Lawrence J. Caldwell. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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About The Author


Lawrence J. Caldwell is a Christian author and speaker. He lives in Medford Lakes, NJ with his wife and three sons.