Was watching a video the other day that brought a scripture to mind.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[d] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Phil 3:12-14 NLT
Many, many years ago, I would run 10K races, and, while I was not in the upper echelons of the racing elite, I generally finished in the middle of the pack. At the very beginning I was very excited and eager to get the race underway, but it did not take long for the negative thoughts to start entering my mind. At the start, I tended to struggle to find my pace because I wanted to stay with the pack, later I would start analyzing the various stitches and spasms wondering if I was even going to make it through the race. As it got later into the race, thoughts of “why even try” or “you’ll never be as good as these other guys” crept into the fray and, yes, there were moments where I considered just giving up, one time was when I was only a few hundred yards from the finish. So, the question remains, why even try?
The video I watched was about an elite racer who was rounding the final corner on a longer race and had a commanding lead. He did not see another racer making a mad dash for the lead and, on the final fifty or so yards, he started to celebrate, waving to the crowd. With only a couple yards to go, the second-place racer who was leaving nothing to spare, flew past the leader and won the race by inches. Now, none of us is perfect, and there are occasions where we might set the cruise control on and just coast along with the blinders on, or doubt can creep in and set our minds into a protectionist mode, or, in this case, we can lose focus and we get passed over.
Life can be like a 10K race as can our faith walk. At the beginning, there is an excitement that is indescribable. We are at a quicker speed than we may want to be, but we are only trying to keep up or, in some cases, catch up. While there are numerous stages along the way where we can hydrate and receive some nourishment and encouragement, there are those times when we start to focus on the wrong things or just settle into a comfortable pace and let things happen as they do. “I’m saved, that works for me” or “look at all the people waving and cheering for me, I’m on my way!” That time where I was about to give up with only a few hundred yards to go, I lost focus on what was just beyond the finish line. A voice in my mind screamed “finish strong, there is rest on the other side of the line!”
The journey to glory is fraught with so many pitfalls and challenges, but there is always an encourager in our corner cheering us on. Just like in the 10K, there are always people around you cheering you on and the Lord is always at your side. As I came upon others who looked like they were struggling, I was able to pour into them and be an encouragement. We all need to lean on each other and our faith because none of us is perfect. Press on through the finish line, there is rest on the other side.
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Our Mission “To live the love of Christ”