For months I contemplated writing this specific post. I’m not sure what happened to get in the way, but I suspect the timing always felt off.
So there’s nothing like a little Olympic spirit to serve as a reminder that now is the perfect time to write about ‘running the race.’
By the time you read this, Michael Phelps will have competed in his last Olympic swimming event, winning a 23rd Gold Medal, and track and field is running full speed ahead.
I have to say I’ve cheered (apparently pretty loudly, since my little Rat Terrier fled to the upstairs to avoid my cheerleading antics) for the American team in numerous events, and have come away feeling a deep source of joy and pride for our country–whether our athletes medaled or not.
The rigor and level of training has pushed these athletes to sacrifices that I can’t fully comprehend, although I do understand and appreciate their commitment and perseverance to meet their goals.
While I love to workout, partly because I enjoy it and partly to stay healthy, I’m not competing for any records or medals. Instead I am running the race for Christ.
Sometimes though I find myself running around in circles, distracted by too many things screaming for attention, and giving my full concentration to none of them. And that’s when I find myself going nowhere fast.
While many of us experience a loss of rhythm or pacing, or the heaviness that we sometimes encounter, it’s reassuring to know that we can turn to Hebrews 12:1.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
I find comfort in the huge crowd of witnesses rallying us to push on and finish the race. It’s like having your own personal cheering section chanting your name to do your best.
Running the Christian race is about our relationship with Christ. It’s about making sure we pursue this life with everything we have. It’s about discipline and commitment to the life He calls us to. And there is no room for half-heartedness, mediocrity, or laziness.
On days that we feel ourselves stumbling around, maybe all we need is a little push or a little encouragement to get back on track. To run like the winner runs. To run hard in prayer, and to run with a Christlike spirit.
It’s important for us to keep our eyes on the prize and run the race that God has for us. And in the end we will find that He is infinitely better than any medal–He is the ultimate reward.
I’ll be praying for you this week.
Blessings & Hugs!