“I keep running hard toward the finish line to get the prize that is mine because God has called me through Christ Jesus to life up there in heaven.”
August 5, 2016 kicks off another Olympic season. My favorite sport of all time is track. It’s amazing to see how fast these athletes run towards the finish line in attempt to be the first one across. They train for years in order to be the best but there are only three spots for keeps. Not everyone will gain a spot but everyone will finish the race if they are determined.
When I was in high school I had an urge to run track. I would watch the track team practice occasionally after school and even inquire of how to become a team member. The coach even encouraged me to join. They would run around the neighborhood while the coach drove his car behind them. “Why isn’t he out running with them I would think to myself?” On meet days they would wear their warm up suits to school in support of their upcoming meet. I cheered them on and was excited when they won. As much as I wanted to join the team I never did because I was lazy. I didn’t want to run around the neighborhood. No, not me. I would be tempted to sit on the coaches hood and catch a ride as soon as I got started. I admired the determination the athletics had to stick to their sport and do their best.
Today’s text Paul, the writer of Philippians, refers to following Christ as a race. He is so determined to be with God and Jesus Christ in heaven that he emphasises how he is running. He said: “I keep running hard toward the finish line.” Paul’s goal is to finish! He didn’t set out to just finish “1 lap”. He set out to finish the race.
As followers of Christ our goal is to finish the race. Our reward is to be with God and Christ Jesus in heaven as Paul specified. Unlike the Olympics this race rewards all those who finish. As we press toward the finish line we will have hurdles to jump, hamstrings will tear, feet will trip us up, we will have to go around a few people and sometimes we may feel like giving up. We will have to run on sunny days as well as rainy days. Sometimes we will walk and sometimes we will fall. Not all of our races are the same length. Some will run the 200m, 400m and others longer distance. As we make our way toward the finish line we will see people quitting. We will see people assisting others to the finish. We will see people walking and some even crawling. We will see people crying. We will even see others finish their race before we do. Our goal is to finish no matter the circumstances. In order to finish it will take determination. It will take determination not to stay down. It will take determination not to quit. It will take determination not to go back. It will take determination to keep on pressing. The reward: to be face to face forever with God and Jesus Christ. Are you determined? Read the full chapter in Philippians 3 for more determination. Be determined. #LivingTheLife