My daughter Jacqueline and my daughter-in-law Abigail run half marathons. As you might be reading this Abby is in one now! Go Abby! When they run a half marathon their goal is to cross the finish line. They have never entered a race with the intention of starting it and when things get rough giving up. And they don’t enter a race without training… lots of training. One thing that really helps them in a race is to race with other racers they know. It makes it easier for them to run. Life is sorta like a race. But here’s the funny (or sad) thing… we all run but many people don’t have an end goal in mind! Let’s talk about this race-of-a-life and the way we can all come out winners in the end!
Who living today says, “okay, I’ll live but I’m not going to try to do it well. I’m not putting any effort in it”! Most of us want a full life, a life that counts for something, a life of worth! Have you ever stopped and thought that living a full and productive life is not the real goal? Yes, it is important and get’s up to our goal… but it’s not our whole goal in life! Here’s a very simple fact. We may not be sure of many things in this life, but one thing we can all be sure of is… we will all die! Many of us don’t like to think of death and dying and think it is morbid and uncomfortable to talk about. I understand that because I used to think that too!
But here’s another truth… death is like the finish line! A couple years ago Jacqueline and 10 friends entered the Niki Women’s Half Marathon. Her group of friends all wore big hot pink ribbons in their hair. Many of the runner’s wore tutu’s and tiaras and girly things! They ran together and and cheered each other along the 13.5 mile route! Eventually they all crossed the finish line. The finish line signaled the end of the race, but it was what happened next that was the real goal! Good looking young men dressed in tuxedos passed out Tiffany’s boxes on silver platters! Now that’s a great reward! Inside the boxes were beautiful Tiffany necklaces. They were rewarded for finishing well! All the girls entered the race with the finish line in mind… but the rewards were great! Jewelry, the feeling of satisfaction and being able to rest!
This is one of my favorite pictures of some of Jacquie’s friends after the race! Don’t you love what the t shirt says… FINISHER! At the end of my life’s race I want to be a “finisher”.
I HAVE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED THE RACE AND I HAVE REMAINED FAITHFUL AND NOW THE PRIZE AWAITS ME- THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH THE LORD THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, WILL GIVE ME ME ON THE DAY OF HIS RETURN. AND THE PRIZE IS NOT JUST FOR ME BUT FOR ALL WHO EAGERLY WAIT FOR HIS RETURNING. 2 Tiomothy 4:7,8
In order to be a “finisher” these girls trained and conditioned their minds and bodies to run the 13.5 mile race well! As Christians we too need to “train” if we want to be able to to cross the finish line of life and finish our race to get to the great reward! We need to do things that will condition ourselves to be able to run life’s race and run it successfully according to God’s standards. Studying the bible and then being obedient to it is the best way I know to get our lives and minds and souls in shape for living life!
It takes discipline to train for a race… it takes discipline to study the Word of God and put it into practice in our daily lives! But it will make life better and give us eternal hope for the reward of heaven to come!
Jacqueline and Jonathan after the DC Rock And Roll Marathon- Jacquie with her medals!
ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD BREATHED (INSPIRED BY GOD) AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION AND FOR INSTRUCTION FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS ( BEING IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD). 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Abby (Go Abby) is running this current race in a faster race bracket than she was before. She says faster racers push her to do better! I believe it! When the girls run they like to run with a group of friends and other people they know. They can encourage each other and push each other and help each other along the race course! We, as Christians, live better godly lives when we fellowship with other Christians too! They encourage, support and help us in our daily life! Finding a good, active, Bible believing church and getting involved is the best way I know to run the race of life with lots of loving support!
Jacquie and Abby running a race together near the finish line. They see a group of family (me included) supporting them from the sidelines!
AND LET US CONSIDER HOW TO STIR UP ONE ANOTHER TO LOVE AND GOOD WORKS, NOT NEGLECTING TO MEET TOGETHER AS IS THE HABIT OF SOME, BUT ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER, AND ALL THE MORE AS YOU SEE THE DAY (THE END OF THE RACE … THE APPEARANCE OF THE LORD) APPROACHING. Hebrews 10:24
How’s your race going? Are you persevering through good and bad, ups and downs… all that life throws at you? Could you run your life’s race better? This is not a dress rehearsal! This is YOUR time… YOUR race… YOUR life! You can choose how to run it. We all can.
Let’s run together in fellowship with God’s love and mercy and salvation and grace helping us. Let’s run together encouraging each other until we all meet Him when we cross the finish line.
Let’s run so at the end of our lives we can hear…
WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT! Matthew 25:21