Running a race – Part Two

If you haven’t already, please read part one before reading this entry.   In order to do more for the Lord, we must realize how we can improve. Look at the people who run, and run well.   The best runners use best equipment and training. They don’t wear high top hiking boots when running. There is a place for those, but if runners want to be successful, they use the proper equipment. They use high tech materials. They use the best materials available. Cotton is great material, for its purpose. Wool is wonderful material, for its purpose. But the best and latest running shoes use newer materials. They use composite materials for the best combination of results.  A runner who wants to finish well will use every item at his disposal – or else he is foolish.   God has given us the best equipment for our race, everything we need to run well and finish, for our race is not just a physical race, but a spiritual race. And God has made available to us the best spiritual equipment – Eph 6:13-17 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God   The best runners remove those things that hinder them. They watch the things they eat, the things they drink, and the places they go. They don’t allow things in their lives which will prevent them from doing the best in their race. There are some things that we as Christians should not do in order to be the best we can in our race. Doing those things will not make you lose your salvation, but they hinder your race. They prevent you from being the best you can be.  

The successful runners don’t stop. The man in the picture on this blog is John Steven Akhwari. He was an entrant in the marathon in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.  He wasn’t a favorite to win the event, he wasn’t even considered a contender. But any chance he had to win seemed to end when during the race he started having cramps in his legs. That slowed his pace, but he kept on going. Then he was involved in a group of runners jockeying for position. He fell to the ground, dislocating his knee and smashing his shoulder. Most thought he would quit, and he probably should have. But instead, he was bandaged up and kept on going. By the time he reached the stadium for the finish, he was more than an hour behind the winner and almost 20 minutes behind the next closest runner. He was barely moving, limping as he struggled along. But he finished. When they asked him after the race – “Why did you keep on going?”, he replied “ My country did not send me 5000 miles to start the race, they sent me 5000 miles to finish the race.”
God wants us to finish our race. We may not be the best speaker, the best soul winner, they best preacher, the best teacher. We may not have fame or accolades, but there is one thing we can do – we can finish. We can keep going until the Lord takes us home. What did Paul say?
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
May we do likewise.