I love to run! I have ran in almost a dozen organized races and I love it! I am not the best runner but I decided my personal motto for all of my runs are … “slow and steady wins the race.”
I just try to pace myself and just finish. When I am running, God speaks to me and I feel close to Him. Something he showed me on my hardest run to date, which was a 10k, was that my spiritual walk is a lot like running in a race. When you run in a race, you are running towards the finish line. As a Christian, we are also running towards the finish line: the day we meet Jesus.
When we are running, we can’t compare ourselves to the person on our right and left. They may get ahead or behind, but I don’t know how hard they have trained, worked, or sweat to be where they are at. I just have to run MY race. Always try my very best. Other people’s results and time do not matter. All that matters is MY time at the end of the race.
At the end of our spiritual race, we are accountable for ourselves only.
Sometimes I sign up for running events with friends. It’s always more fun to have a buddy with you when you do things, isn’t it? At times, they will cheer me on throughout the race and push me to keep going when I start to get tired. I love encouraging them too. Just like our spiritual race, God places people in our lives that will pull us, push us, help pick us back up, and encourage us. That makes life more enjoyable! When you run in an organized race, they place volunteers throughout the run to cheer you on and make sure you are doing ok. In life, if we have people cheering us on and checking in on us, it makes it so much easier, doesn’t it?
To be able to run well, you have to have fuel: food and water. Just like our spiritual run, we have to feed ourselves with spiritual food (the Word of God) if we want the strength to finish. It is impossible to finish your race without fuel.
Sometimes when you’re running, you can get an injury. If you keep running on that injury, it will get worse. You can’t ignore it, you have to slow down and take care of yourself. Just like life, if you are hurt, you have to get healing. If you ignore pain and hurt, and keep running anyway, that pain will only get worse. Or if you just throw on a brace, it is only a temporary fix. The root of the injury has to be addressed and healed. If I absolutely cannot run at any point in a race, and have a serious injury of any sort, there will be someone that will come to my rescue that has been trained to help. They will carry me or take me to safety in a stretcher.
In life, we can go through really hard things, like death for example. In devastating times like that, God will come to your rescue and literally carry you for a season if needed. He will always rescue you. If you fall down in a race, you will get trampled, and once your down it’s a lot harder to get back up. In life we will get knocked down, but the key is just to get back up and try again.
Also I noticed that sin can be like a bad limp or broken body part. Have you ever noticed if you have something broken on your body, how it affects your entire body? It could be your pinky toe, the tiniest body part, but yet your whole body just feels like it is aching and you just can’t stop thinking about that toe. Have you ever noticed how the tiniest of sins, can consume your life? You might try to ignore it at first, but eventually it just catches up to you. It holds you back from the finish line. Having a pure heart and going to God with our sins, asking for forgiveness and repenting keeps our body/minds/hearts working in the best condition spiritually so we can hear God well. The better we hear God, the more focused on the prize we become.
I challenge you today to evaluate your race. Are you running slow and steady or do you feel more like you can barely catch your breath and keep up? Do you have an injury that needs healing? Do you have something broken that needs to be dealt with?
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NLT
“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through – all that bloodshed. So don’t feel sorry for yourselves.” Hebrews 12:1-4, The Message
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, NLT
Written by Jennifer Bellamy