The Race that Makes the Run Worth It

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭20:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’m not a runner, but I enjoy a race (watching one, not competing in one).

A race is beautifully simple. It has a beginning, it has an end, and the one who gets to the end first is the winner. Pretty simple.

A beautiful thing happens for the contestants in a race: focus.

While in the race, whether for the span of 100 meters, 5 kilometers, or a full marathon, inner distractions go away.

The running of a race is an all-consuming activity. It does not let your mind stray to things that have nothing to do with the race. From the starting gun until the finish line, an athlete is completely given over to the task of running well and perhaps beating his competitors.

Paul knew a few things about races. Perhaps he was an athlete in his day. He speaks of training, and boxing and running.

When Jesus got ahold of Paul, he placed him in a race like he had never experienced before. Paul had to relearn how to run, had to go into strict training to become competent, and had to know where the finish line was.

For Paul, the finish line was “testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” His entire life was given over to that pursuit. He crossed many small finish lines as he witnessed to individuals, families and groups, about the overwhelming grace of God in Christ.

And at the end, looking back over his ministry, he was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

As he came to the finish line of his earthly race, he could confidently say that his days were spent building a life, and a testimony, that others could look to, and see the effects of a changed heart, a redeemed existence, and the fruit of what becomes of a man who is saved by Christ.

The importance of our time, each day, moment by moment, is magnified as we spend our lives running the race marked out for us. I hope that we can all connect today to that specific calling that God has for us. May everything else, anything that would distract us from being the person Christ saved us to be, vanish from our sight as we commit to focus to complete the race the Lord Jesus has given us.

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