Running a Marathon
Verse 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Yesterday we discussed the hurdles in the race of faith. Today’s passage helps us remember that we aren’t running a sprint.
One of the reminders that I heard over and over in driver’s education was to “aim high.” It was the instructor’s way of telling us to keep looking ahead so that we could see what was coming up ahead. Paul is giving the same example for the life of faith in the reading before us today. Take a moment and look out the window at the furthest point. Isn’t it amazing how looking that distance allows you to see things that are near and far? Like we commented yesterday about being able to see the hurdles coming up when we looked up instead of looking only at the next step. When we use that image in the spiritual realm it helps us remember that we aren’t living for this world but for eternity and our eternal King.
Our spiritual walk isn’t a temporal journey but rather a life of worship of God. Running the race of faith is a lifelong event, a marathon. Marathon runners don’t just show up on the day of the race and push out the 26.2 miles. No, they train day in and day out. Their training regime isn’t just about conditioning their legs and lungs. They watch their diet and eat certain foods at certain times. Not just one day a week or one week a year. A serious marathon runner may only take one week off of the routine a year, if that.
So what would spiritual life training entail? First off it takes commitment. Not a passing commitment but a daily renewing of the choice to lay down your life and desires to God. And our spiritual lives need to be fed the things that will most benefit it. Our spiritual natures need a steady diet of Bible study and prayer. We need to train with others so we are encouraged to push forward. We need to be cheering the rest of our team on to the finish too.
So press on to the finish! Aim high and focus on the end prize, eternity worshiping the God of creation.
Making It Personal
Working out can be a drag, do you find spiritual exercises difficult to commit to? Committing to a healthy regime takes commitment, is it one you have made or are willing to make? What will be the first step in your race to the finish?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you like to run? It takes practice to get better at running, doesn’t it? What are some ways we have to work at growing to be more like Jesus?
Father, thank You for giving us examples of hard work to remind us that building endurance takes us deeper into our faith life. Give us the strength to run the race well for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.