The Marathon

For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of righteousness' 2 Timothy 4:6 WEB

It was late evening and we were having dinner with some friends of our family, who happened to be avid runners. I had never met them before, but I understood the need for speed as I love racing anything. They told us about the marathons they had competed in across the country. After telling us about their last 26 mile run, I learned how to make the husband very angry by using only three words: 'Did you win?'

Apparently that is a question that you don't ask a marathon runner. The husband took it as a serious insult and looked at me as if I had slapped him across the face. He was Chinese, and after uttering some language that I didn't understand, and probably didn't want to, he explained that finishing a marathon at all is your win.

You are competing against your own body, fatigue, the weather, and the clock. Everyone there has different bodies, skills, strengths, strides, and finishing a 26-mile marathon at all is considered a victory. When he finished his thirty-minute speech, I agreed.

As Christians we are all in a marathon. Some people move faster than others, while some hold a slower pace. It does not matter how fast you move along, the goal is staying the course and completing 'your' race.

You are competing against your own body, its desires, weariness, and not against others. Take your time, set goals, and most importantly, if you fall, get back up. No one finishes a marathon by laying on their face. Get up and keep putting one foot in front of the other one, and you will finish this marathon well just as Paul did. He fought the good fight, he finished the course.

'Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us' (Hebrews 12:1).

Prayer: Heavenly Father please strengthen me today and make me steadfast in this race of life. Help me see the big picture and to be in tune with what You are doing during my generation. Help me finish my race well, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!

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