I have always loved this phrase "run the race" Im a song writer and I think I have probably overuse the phrase in my songs. I was never a runner as a matter of fact I was never very athletic, I played one season of basketball, some soccer and I went out for football one year and quit after the first practice. As for running, when I was a freshman in High school I could run the mile in seven minutes! (that's slow in case you didn't know) But I have a romance with this phrase and with this verse in Hebrews 12 that talks about running the race. When I think about how my spiritual journey is not a time of wandering in the desert but a race with a beginning and end, with a finish line to reach and a prize to win, it gives me a great sense of purpose and destiny.
we could say that the race is a lot like a marathon or better yet a triathlon race. It's a lifelong journey with many obstacles. There are some areas that are easier and then there is the uphill parts of the race. Life brings us some times when it seems like all of our troubles seem so far away as we run swiftly and almost effortlessly almost enjoying the beautiful landscape around us. But what about those times when every muscle hurts and all we can do is to keep pushing ourselves one more step. The great crowd of witnesses who watch cheer us on with chants of "Run the race, run the race!"
we could also see the race as a relay race where based on the speed of the runners, the generally accepted strategy used in setting up a 4 person relay team is: second fastest, third fastest, slowest, then fastest (anchor). I would have done it all different, I would have put my fastest runner first then the second fastest, then the third fastest and finally I would have let slowest go last, after all he is the slowest. But putting the fastest last? I think that is what is going to happen in the kingdom race. The last generation of believers will be the fastest. I wonder if that is us? Are we the fastest or the slowest? I would like to think that I am part of the fastest, the ones who with a supernatural burst of speed will push the race through to the finish line and usher in the coming of the messiah.
The important thing is not where you run or when you run but how you run. The verse in Hebrews 12 tells that that we are to run the race with patience. The bible says that "in your patience you possess your soul." We have to learn patience in our family relationships in our business endeavours, in our spiritual race. Moses, in Gods own words "the most meek man that ever lived," lost his patience, disobeyed God and lost the privilege of entering the promised land. The bible says; in James 5:11 "behold we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job..." Who has not heard of the patience of Job? He ran a great race, the bible tells us that he was a righteous man, he was doing everything right, praying, prospering, praising, running with style and then; he lost it all including his family and his health. Yet Job did not check out of the race he kept on running. Limping along, at times dragging his tired body one more inch. But Job kept the faith and made it through the rough terrain coming out stronger, better, richer and happier than he had ever been.
You see to God what really matters is how we run. He expects us to run with patience, Joy, faith, Trust, Love, humbleness. He expects us to be fruitful, to run legitimately and faithfully to the death. The trophies and prizes that we win in this life are nothing to be compared with the crowns and rewards that we will receive in heaven. All of our victories all of our success, these are mere tools that can help us win the real prizes, the eternal prizes. Our prosperity our gain is a loss if it does not serve us as a means to an end. I will call this running with wisdom. Are you a wise runner, are you running for eternity?