I will start this blog out by saying I am not a runner. Never really was, but ever since my hip surgery definitely an activity I do not participate. There is a rule around our house, if you see daddy running, you better start running. He is being chased.
But I do have a great appreciate for those who do run; who commit to the training, the diet, and the discipline of preparing themselves to run a race. It is the Olympics and the one time every four years I will sit down to watch these amazing athletes run around the track. Where it used to inspire me to go out and run myself, these days I am putting ice on my knees after watching them run ferociously around the track.
I have had the honor and pleasure of crewing running and bike races and enjoy being able to help and serve these people as they journey on through their race. I have also had the privilege of seeing some pretty top tier athletes who effortlessly run or bike through many miles of tough terrain at high altitude.
What impresses me the most is there discipline and perseverance to keep in the race. Especially with the bike races I have seen all types of equipment failures from flat tires, to derailures not functioning, and brakes failing. Yet in spite of these circumstances they press on, they keep on the trail, and they finish the race. They may not have finished where they wanted to finish, but generally every one of the racers come in pleased they were still able to finish the race in spite of the trial they faced.
Run for the Prize
Whenever I see this type of perseverance and commitment in a race setting I am reminded of the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it a slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (NIV)
These runners run with purpose, dedication, and direction. They run to win the prize and run in such a way as to not be disqualified. But Paul is telling us this is how we should be living our lives in Christ. Live with purpose live with dedication, live in a such a way you are running to win the prize. You will complete the race by dedicating yourself to the race. Don’t just go out and run a race without training, make sure you have committed yourself to the proper training, and prepared yourself for the race.
Feeling God’s Pleasure
The quintessential Olympic running movie is Chariots of Fire about British runner Eric Liddell. One of the greatest lines from the movie was when he stated “I believe God made me for a purpose, and he also made me fast. When I run I feel God’s pleasure.”
Eric Liddell had something to prove, he did not have to run the race in order to seek praise from men. He ran the race because this moment was what God created him for. He knew he did not have the physical strength to finish the race, but that didn’t matter, because he had the strength of God in his heart. This is the best example of running the race for the Glory of God.
Dedication to the Race
I have often wondered how much different our lives would look if we put the same type of dedication we did into our hobbies as we do into our lives in Christ? To run the race of our lives to feel God’s pleasure. How are you running race? How are you preparing for the race? How do you let obstacles effect you during the race? ‘
The challenge today is to take a look at how you are running this race and seeing where you may have to make changes to your “workout” routine? Are you running the race? Do you feel God’s pleasure in your own life?