My granddaughter, grandson, and two great-grandchildren are running races today. I mean, not just a normal race, but obstacle races. They like the challenge of competing, of climbing over obstacles, and jogging through the mud. More power to them. I’ve never attempted such a thing.
Our granddaughter also completed a half-marathon recently. And my husband completed two marathons and a 5-K back in his running days. I can’t fathom wanting to do such a thing, but I admire those who do and I’m proud of them. I wish I liked to exercise, but there isn’t any kind that appeals to me. Walking is about as much as I get done. Oh, and I have a little 22 minute routine of stretching exercises I do almost every morning. I just wish I enjoyed it.
Although physical races aren’t in my wheelhouse, I must face the fact that I am in a spiritual race. And I can’t say I enjoy all of the discipline that it takes to train and run day after day. But who said that life is easy? Or that it should be? Running is taxing, but rewarding in the end.
Consider these words from the Scriptures. “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10, NIV). In what direction are you running today? The Psalmist said, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding” (Psalm 119:32, NIV). He’s not just walking. He’s running on the right path.
In the New Testament, we find these words about the race we are in. “…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” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). Picture a runner in a race. Their clothing is stripped down to a minimum. And they certainly aren’t carrying any weights or wearing heavy jewelry. The apostle Paul made several references to running in his letters. For example, he reminded the Corinthians, who were struggling with some issues: “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” (I Corinthians 9:21, NIV). Now I’ve never heard of an earthly race where every runner gets a prize. But in God’s race, He rewards everyone who finishes well. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV). How determined are you to hear the Lord’s words, “Well done, faithful servant,” when you finish the race? Can you picture the victorious smile you will wear in His presence?