Finishing the Race

woman-girl-silhouette joggerIn dedication to all those who were affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14

When you start a race, the ultimate goal is to be the first one to cross the finish line. Winning feels great. It is an indication that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. It demonstrates strength, pride, determination and commitment. Integrity also illustrates the true character of a winner as long as honesty and playing fairly is part of the performance.

In high school, I was a sprinter on the track team. I also remember that I would exhaust all of my energy from the beginning to the end of the race because I was running the 50 to 100 mile dash. However, runners who compete in a long distance race must conserve their energy and concentrate on keeping a steady pace throughout the race. By the end, runners get a burst of adrenaline, momentum and speed.

The navigation through life is very similar to the challenges and obstacles we face in a marathon. Everyone has a dream or goal that they want to accomplish. They set out to fulfill their ambitions. Their main objective is to gain status, fame, money, material objects, a wife or husband, children, dog, house and car.  Well, you get the idea, anything related to the world’s idea of success and prosperity. Often, moving through life anxiously without enjoying the moment in time.

To achieve our goals, some lose their morals and values. They will lie or cheat. They will even ignore certain situations. Once they gain the success they’ve worked so hard for, they often grasp a tight hold on it as well as developing greed or envy. In fear of losing what they’ve gained, they forget the most simple and precious moments or to acknowledge others along the way.

We often see children rushing to grow up too fast or a couple rushing to get married. We do not take the time to enjoy each stage of life. Before we even graduate from school, we wish we were in college. By the time, we’re in college we wish we were married. By the time, we’re married, we wish we had children. Even in the most general or daily activities, it causes us to rush through life. We rush to our jobs every morning. We rush to the grocery store to complete errands. We rush to get the latest fashion or model car. Everything is a constant rush and we nearly want to hurt somebody if they get in our way.

Often times when we finally get to our destination, we have many regrets, failures, heartaches and sorrow because all to many times we’ve rushed through the natural process of life and missed out on valuable time. Often times, we could of avoided mistakes or bad decisions if we just took the time to focus on priorities and appreciate the time in that moment. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Eccles 7:8

Satan can often trick us into thinking that we are running out of time. However, procrastination and fear is definitely part of the enemy’s tactic to keep us from moving forward. Sometimes, even paralyzing us.

However, through God’s grace, mercy and timing, He will work all things out for our good in His own perfect timing. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted: A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; A time to rent; and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Eccles 3:1-8

Unlike the sprinter, the long distance runner realizes that each step is closer than the one before. While keeping abreast of their pace, they understand and appreciate the moment they’re given while keeping their eye of the prize. They can even accept if their competitor passes them by and know that not all is lost. They keep moving ahead with determination. Even though they are tired and out of breath, they pick up momentum. As they approach the finish line, they strive forward to victory. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run; and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” I John 5:4