Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)
This was not just any race. Paul was making reference to the Isthmian games which were held every two years on the Isthmus of Corinth. They were held in honor of the gods and events included foot races, chariot races, boxing, competitions in javelin and discus throwing, horse races,wrestling, boxing, and jumping contests.
The Greeks took these competitions very seriously. Very seriously. They were passionate about them as evidenced by the fact that the prize initially was a ... celery wreath. It's true... that was the prize. Later it was a crown of fir. Some prize huh? This is the perishable crow Paul was referring to when he wrote:
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. 1 Corinthians 9:25
These athletes would put themselves through rigorous training and for what... to win a wreath (crown) of greens which they could wear on their head to show they were the winner.
You know, when I think about it, that puts me to shame. Am I running the Christian race in the same manner? Are my eyes fixed on the finish line or are they upon the spectators or even the other runners? I've got to keep my eyes on HIM! Am I slowing down my pace and complacently saying, "No need to run or make a fuss about it, I will get there eventually.So, are you saying that grace means we don't give God our very best? Doesn't He deserve better than that? Doesn't God deserve to have us run with all of our heart?
I don't know about you but... I want God to see that I love Him enough to put forth my very best effort to run this race and run it well. Yes, I am only "dust" but this piece of dust wants to make God smile and say "Well done!" at the end of the day. "You kept running... no matter what!"
Oh, I want as many people as possible to run this race and run it well...
While I am not an expert on races, I know Alight is so I will take you at your word Alight. I know you would not mislead me on something as serious and dear to your heart as racing. I will remember that my "second wind" will come as directed by the Lord of the Race and it will always be exactly what I need when I need it...He will provide me with everything I need to finish my course and finish it well!
Keep that baton moving!
I may come in last because I am so slow but I will finish the race. I can not run at all I must walk slowly.
When I enter heaven, it is my plan to run run run through those pearly gates.
Oh KK !
You will! You will! And won't it be glorious!
[quote]Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside Godâ€™s throne.
Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you wonâ€™t become weary and give up. Hebrews 12:1-3[/quote]
Oh, I sense a blog coming on . . . Quick, pass that baton over here!
Look out for me, I'll be running alongside with you all... and hey KK, if there's anything to that first is last, last is first thing I wouldn't hurry either...lol... I think we just need to be sure we're taking steps forward all the time and if I stumble along the way I'm counting on you guys to pull me back up...
Oh we certainly will brother-friend! We certainly will and expect you to do likewise! Of course, I know you will as you have done in the past.
It is good to run alongside all of you. Doing life together as we do life with God! Watching His children run together; encouraging one another to never give up, extending hands toward one another to steady us when we start to stumble or aid in picking us up when we fall. What joy that must bring to the Father's heart!
Come on, everyone! Let's run!
I've still got the visuals on the celery! Thank you for that interesting little gem.
As I read further I could only see myself in the sack race - eating dirt! But...I will caste off that which hinders me and set my face towards the goal. I think I'll tag along at the back with KK because we can pick up those that stumble. We are doing ALL of this race together.
Me too kbird. The three of us may be in last place but we will be there to pick up those who get tired. Think--the turtle vs the hare.
If you have a little time, here is a link to a great article in the May 2009 Guideposts that relates to this blog. Don't be scared off by the idea it is an article on physical training only. There are some truly great principles in this article, just as there are in this post and the comments. Thanks k as usual for a truly inspirational blog.