Have you ever watched a cross-country race? Runners gather at the starting line and people cheer and encourage the contestants. However, as the journey lengthens, the well-wishers decrease and are only sporadic. Perhaps there will be a few refreshing stations along the way to re-hydrate and re-energize, but companionship is virtually non-existent.
The pack of runners stretches out as the strong pass the weak. There are mountains to climb, deserts to cross, and the way gets lonelier and more difficult.
Competitors have countless motivations for running. Some want the cool t-shirt or bragging rights, others run to prove something to themselves or others. There are the few, those who run to win the prize, who won’t give up, and won’t stop for they are determined to win.
As Christians we are in a Cross-Time Race. We run in the grace-shadow of the cross. Smooth roads with cheering crowds would be preferred, but the way has hardships to endure and trials to encounter. Deserts come and mountains rise in front of us, and often encouragers are no longer there to encourage.
Life is a moving journey. People come and go, and many times we’ll feel alone. It’s tempting to want to return to the starting line for support, but if we do, we won’t ever move forward. Or, if we refuse to leave the place that refreshed us the most, we will miss the rest of the amazing journey.
Don’t give up, don’t lose hope, and don’t lose the perspective to press on. Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling you.
Press on friends, and run the race to win!
“…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. Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” (Philippians 3:13-14 NASB, 1 Corinthians 9:24 NLT)