Only one race left this season. It’s the big one… the one I have been preparing for. All the others, they were just the warm ups, the practice tests. Oh… tests. I used to love tests. I was good at tests. Yes, I was the goody-two-shoed teacher’s pet kind of student. I didn’t understand people who just weren’t god at tests. Now I understand. If I go out running on my own, it’s no big thing. As soon as I line up for the start of that race I struggle. I guess I’m not good at race tests.
Life is a lot like that. I want to be able to choose my own races. Run the distances I choose. If I can do things in my own time and way, it’s no big thing. When God sends a test sometimes we just don’t do so well. It seems like the course is too long, or is a constant uphill climb with no aid stations to grab a drink of refreshing water.
Life is a race. Are we going to make it to the finish line?
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Galatians 5:7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
When I run. I know I’m not going to win the prize. But I still run as though I have a chance. Maybe my prize is something different than yours. Maybe it’s not to cross the finish line first, but instead to live knowing I gave my all. It’s hard to run. You get out of breath. You get sore. Sometimes it feels like you don’t have it in you to take one more step. Have you stopped running? Are you walking or perhaps you’ve just sat down altogether. It’s time to start running again.
My favorite part of running is the community is creates. People you’ve never met smile and talk to you. As you run, volunteers cheer you on along the way. Do these people know you? Not usually. They don’t know you’re story or why your running. They just know you are trying and they want you to keep going. They smile, they clap, they call out encouragement. It spurs you on, gives you a little spring in your step, just enough to get to the next mile marker. Then as you approach the finish line… they announce your name. Those that finished before you are there. They cheer. It’s like your own personal standing ovation.
Hebrews 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
You know how hard you tried. You know the places you wanted to quit running. The places were your mouth was dry, your feet hurt, sweat was blinding you. Still you finished.
The good news is there is a finish line, my friends! And there is a whole crowd waiting to cheer you in.