Egg-and-spoon race, sack race, the 100-metre dash (on the odd occasion) – those were my contributions to the athletic endeavours of my secondary school. Needless to say, I was not the school’s star athlete. The 100-metre dash I do not ever remember winning; I do remember ending it panting, out of breath. The daily games period served a more useful purpose. It was a time for chatting, lying on the grass with friends and indulging in non-energy, non-muscle-building activities. And although I still valiantly pursued other sporting activities – lawn tennis for instance – it was, alas with no memorable results.
Some of the girls seemed to fly when they hit the track. Others displayed remarkable endurance covering several laps with relative ease and speed. It befell the rest of us to sit in the audience and gape and gasp in amazement. No doubt you already get my point. Athletic prowess is not equally distributed; not all can excel, nor are they expected to.
The Bible compares the Christian life to running a race. Unlike the aforementioned races, however, in this race all the runners are equally enabled to win. All are expected to win, though not all do. In the passage below, Paul the Apostle points out that not all the runners who compete in a race win the prize. Then he challenges us to run in such a way that we will win the prize.
‘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. Everyone who competes in the game 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 9.24-25).
In the light of this statement from God’s Word, a question that must be paramount in the mind of every believer is this: ‘How do we run this race to ensure that we will win the prize?’ You are as well endowed as anyone else to do so successfully. There is method, effort, and substance to the Christian life.
‘Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize’(1 Corinthians 9.26-27).
excerpt from my new book ‘AN EYE TO THE CROWN. A lifestyle for ultimate victory’
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