Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Finish the Race

When I was in the 10th grade I had this brilliant idea to get involved in a sport.  The only thing available at that time was track.  I signed up with my sister and we began the grueling practices to prepare us physically.  After a few weeks, we each had to make a decision.  Would we run sprints or long distance?  Another brilliant decision on my part—I selected long distance.  

No one told me that our first practice run was going to be five miles.  FIVE MILES!  They probably didn’t tell us because none of us would have gone—okay, fine, I wouldn’t have gone.  With an endless road in front of me—I jogged off the school property led by my fearless leader.  About two miles from the school I began falling behind the rest of my team; further and further behind.  The lead runner left the front of the pack, and jogged back to me.  She kept pace with me and spoke words of encouragement.  She told me not to stop, not to give up, and boy, did I want to give up.  I was so close to just stopping and saying, “Forget it.  I’ll walk back.  I don’t care how far it is or how long it takes.”  She became my personal cheerleader and I didn’t stop.  

Finally, I got my second wind and was able to stay with the rest of the team and finish the run.   The feeling of accomplishment when I completed this task was nothing short of VICTORY!  There were no trophies, no ribbons, or a cheering crowd--only the satisfaction of finishing!  I didn’t give up.  I didn’t quit.  I didn’t turn back. 

As Believers we are on a long distance run.  Along the way we may grow weary.  We may need the encouragement of another to help spur us on to victory.  My 16 year old self was thrilled that I finished that run over 40+ years ago.  Looking back at that experience, I can draw a comparison with anyone who is struggling along in the race we call life.  We think we can’t make it another day and then the Lord sends someone to speak a word of encouragement.  It comes at just the right time. 

They say, “Press On.”  

 “You got this.” 

 “It’s gonna be okay.” 

 “Don’t give up.”

We are all at different places in our race.  Some are just starting, some are running hard, and others are nearing the finish line.  In 2 Timothy 4:7 it says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  

Let me encourage you today to run the race to win.  The ultimate prize of the Christian runner has been and always will be to hear these words at the finish line, “Well done, my good and faithful servant—enter into the joy of the Lord.” 

2 comments:

  1. Powerful word. I hope I'm not to self-centered to miss those valuable moments of encouragement to others. It's so easy to focus on our own race which is not what God has called us to do! Love one another! Thanks for the reminder and challenge!!

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    Replies
    1. So true. Taking the time to be an encouragement to another is a huge part of the believer's life.

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