ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Born to run
In 2005 my daughter, husband, three of their children and I drove to Alaska. Her one teenaged son wanted a Malamute puppy so on our way home we stopped at a farm to buy one. They were so cute, we ended up buying four. Imagine the challenge we had traveling in our pickup camper, six of us plus four pups!
Every time we stopped—as we did frequently, with three kids and lots of great scenery—my two grandsons opened the back door of the camper to let the pups out. It seemed all they did was run. Malamutes are born to run. Our pups followed in single-file as one grandson or the other led them along the trails and among the trees or tundra bushes. We could almost see smiles on the faces of those pups as they ran, as if in a race.
Christian life is like a race, too. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, wrote about running the race for Christ. The city of Corinth was the site of athletic games similar to the Olympics. Their competitions always ended with an endurance race, for which there would be only one winner. Paul uses that as a comparison as he writes: “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:16)
Hebrews 12:1 also says: “… let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith ….”
In order to be a champion of a sport, it takes dedication to succeed at all costs. Dedication means being exclusively given over to a particular purpose. Single-minded in our desire to win.
Athletes also need a clearly defined goal and must be continually discipline. They set goals such as running so many miles each day or working out so many hours a week.
Paul is an ideal model for Christians who strive to become champions for Christ. With the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, we too can dedicate ourselves to succeed in our faith. With His help, we too can set goals and use the needed discipline to use the gifts He has given us for His glory.
Lord, thank You for Your power and presence that helps us run our race of faith toward the imperishable crown of eternal life with You. Like those Malamute pups, help us run with joy and single-mindedness. In Jesus’ name, amen.