I think we all want to live a victorious life. No one sets out to be a loser. We all want to be winners. Since we’re going to be running the race of life every day, we may as well win. Otherwise, it seems like a tremendously futile endeavor. The apostle Paul said we all run the race to win, to earn the crown of victory (1 Corinthians 9:24).
As long as we are running for Christ, there is nothing wrong with striving to win. We want our lives to be pleasing to Him. We want to live in such a way that will bring Him honor and glory, and in the process to further His mission and bring His Kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven.
Every day, from the moment we rise to the time we lay our heads back onto our pillow, we are running the race. Some of us are limping. Some are barely walking. Regardless, the race goes on. Some days we move up, some days we fall back. So much depends on our focus and our discipline. No one wins a race by accident. We win by keeping our eyes on the finish line and continuously pushing ourselves forward. There will be days when we need to pick up a fellow runner who has stumbled, and there will be other days when it is we who are being picked up by another. But still, we run.
The one thing we must never do is quit. God is willing and able to provide all the strength and endurance we need to come to Him. He’s cheering us on and He’s standing at the finish line waiting to wrap us up in the most intense embrace we have ever experienced. Every now and then He breathes His spirit out behind us giving us the push we need to keep moving forward. We just can’t quit. If we quit, it will have all been for nothing. When we run, it is never for nothing, even when it feels as if that might be true.
We don’t have to be the most gifted or skilled runner. We just have to run. Besides, it’s often not the most gifted that win; it’s the one who stays focused and perseveres. You see this play out in competitions of all kinds and in life itself. God didn’t call you because of how gifted you are; He called you to use what gifts you have. He called you to run.
As long as you’re running, you may as well finish. Nobody begins a race to reach the middle. We begin hoping to win. We begin intending to finish. You’ve committed your life to Christ. You’ve made Him your Lord. Now, finish this thing. Run to the end. Never quit. When you fall, get back up again. Keep your eyes focused on the finish line. Keep your eyes on Him. And when it’s done, know you will say the same thing Paul said: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)