Every morning we wake up, most of us have a daily routine to start off the day. Some of us go straight for the coffee, feeding our animals, or any other of the small things that get us prepared for the day. Have any of those routines ever been interrupted and thrown your entire day off course? Something as simple as running out of coffee, a car not starting, or the kids making you late for work can have a domino effect on your day if you let it. One of the analogies we like to use to describe our lives is "the race". We use it to describe everything from our work to our social life. Did you know that we are also in a spiritual race as well that needs just as much of our attention? Paul addressed this subject in first letter to the Church of Corinth:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV)
We can compare running a physical race to our spiritual race in a very easy way. When we run in a race we are focused on what is set in front of us, the finish line. All of our preparation and training bring us to the moments where we put forth effort to obtain the prize. The same can be said about us spiritually as well. The one thing that we tend to get blindsided by though is the distractions. Little things happen to us during our day that diverts our attention from our goals. Think it about this way, when you run a race, what happens if you start focusing on the people sitting on the sideline? You are no longer paying attention to what is in front of you, but on the things that have no direct purpose in you finishing. Before you know it, your attention has been diverted for so long that you stumble and fall. Then you try to analyze how you did not see that fall coming and what events led up to it. If only we had paid attention to the race and not the distractions.
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 (ESV)
Our ultimate encouragement in our race is the prize that is awaiting to those who live by their faith. When we began our spiritual race, a lot of us saw Jesus as being too far off in the distance that we had to travel. We read about Him in the different Gospels and heard about Him through the testimony of others, but to us, our race just started. As we get farther along in our own spiritual race God is shaping us up to be more and more like Jesus. Our reward is promised to us in the end, we just need to keep ourselves focused. So I challenge you to run the race that is set before you. Run it knowing what God has called you to do, to be in his son's love.
Have a wonderful week and God Bless!
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