“Don’t you know that all of the runners in the stadium run, but only one gets the prize? So they run to win. Everyone who competes practices self-discipline themselves in everything. From the physical aspect of rigorous training of the body and the mind. The runners do this to get a crown of leaves that shrivel up and die, but we do it to receive a crown that never dies. So now this is how I run—not without a clear goal in sight.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26 CEB)
For two years I’ve trained to run a marathon……but I haven’t run a race yet. Training is an overstatement so let’s just say, I have been preparing. Some might wonder, what is taking me so long to accomplish my goal? Well over this time period, I’ve had to juggle time with family and friends, job requirements and at one point, I even lost my running shoes. Some may call these small issues; interruptions, excuses or some may just call it life. Whatever the case; the fact of the matter is, I haven’t run the race.
In our lifetime God calls us to run many races but none are more important than the ultimate race to Him. Paul talks about training our bodies to run for an eternal prize, which is to live with God forever in Heaven.
“So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter. He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 CEB).
We must train like athletes training to win a gold medal!
Paul also talks about having self-discipline; we must have the self-discipline to endure and to persevere, whether we’re tired, injured or just plain lazy. Is there a race God is calling for you to run? Do you hear His voice calling you to train and run the ultimate race to Him? I believe He is calling and enabling all of us to run to Him. So run with a clear goal in sight. Run to win!