“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.” I Corinthians 9:24-26
When the weather is warm my wife and I use the local high school track for exercise. We typically arrive early in the morning before the track team gathers to begin their stretches in preparation for the coach’s morning workout. He will often send them on several laps around the track and then to several community streets for their morning run. Last year one young athlete was particularly impressive to watch. He would keep his head forward, always seemed focused, and each time we were on the track when they returned, he was the first to arrive the finish line.
Paul used the runners of a race to describe the tenaciousness by which we, as followers of Jesus Christ, should apply ourselves in our approach to loving and serving Jesus. Jesus is our goal and eternity with him our prize! We should run with excellence, focus, and persistence to win, for ours is not a fading award like those given by men to display on some shelf and gather dust. It is one which never loses value and culminates in completing the human purpose, which is eternity with God.
Lord, it is my heart’s desire to run in such a way as to win. Guide and strengthen me by your Holy Spirit and cause my eyes to be fixed on you as my prize. Amen.