A week ago today I ran in my first “race” since probably high school. Our town has a 10 mile race every year and people come from across the country even from other countries to participate. Although I have been exercising regularly since my heart attack last December, I knew I wasn’t ready for a 10 mile race and may never be, so after encouragement from co-workers I signed up for the 4 mile walking “race”. This is the race that people sign up for who know they don’t have a prayer in being even somewhat competitive yet want to have a feeling of accomplishment, an opportunity to achieve a personal goal. I figured I could run a couple of the miles so “running” the walk was my goal.
I finished the “race” with a time of 49:23, just a little more than 12.5 minute miles, nothing at all spectacular but a finish none the less, and a milestone in my rehabilitation and ongoing lifestyle changes. I came in 19th place out of 727 “walkers”. That sounded pretty good until I decided to include those who signed up for the 4 mile run as well in my calculations. I came in 833rd when I combine the walking and running races, but hey, I was still in the top 50%. When I told my wife of my second calculations she asked why I figured it out that way, that, doing so was depressing. Maybe so but it gave me a clearer picture of where I really stood in the overall standings. It brought more reality to me.
In contrast to my running, the winner of the 10 mile race was Kenyan born Julius Kogo who won his race with a time of 47:48. He was done with his ten miles before I was done with my four! A little closer to reality, my daughter has a 14 year old friend who completed her 4 mile race in 27 minutes. Wow, what a difference. She was almost done by the time I got halfway.
So after the race was all over I began to contemplate what I should post on my blog. In my reflection I came up with 11 things found common to races.
- Registration is required
- Preparation is required, workout, training and mentors
- Seldom are 2 participants’ times the same.
- There is a time keeper
- Extra weights and distractions are removed
- Proper attire is necessary
- There are other runners
- There are encouraging fans
- The race requires endurance to complete it successfully
- The path is not easy, there are hills and potential weather hindrances
- A goal is set – the finish line
When I consider these topics I begin to see how they can apply to my Christian Life. The Bible talks about our Christian life being a race I so I wanted to draw a comparison between the two. The physical and the spiritual.
- Just like the race I ran a week ago, an individual must sign up to participate in the Christian race. Salvation is not an automatic registration, you don’t get “registered by going to church or being baptized or because your parents are Christians, we are not all “the children of God”. Salvation is an individual, intentional pursuit of a relationship with Jesus Christ. A recognition that we have sinned, we all have fallen short of the glory of God ( Romans 3:23), because of our sin, we are separated from God and are destined to Hell for all eternity (Isaiah 59:2) . But, if we confess with our mouth, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:1-13) and trust in His finished work, what He accomplished on the Cross and His resurrection defeating death, we shall be saved (registered and a participant in the Christian race). Without this salvation, you are bound on a broad course to Hell for all of eternity (Romans 6:15-23). To learn more about this salvation, this entry into the Christian race and a part of God’s family feel free to contact me directly or go here.
- Once we are registered in the Christian race, preparation for the race an ongoing need. An athlete doesn’t get themselves into shape and never train again. They continue to work hard and eat right, constantly trying to improve in areas of weakness. As Christians, we must continue to develop our knowledge and exercise our faith, and take in proper spiritual nutrition continuously so that we may grow stronger in the Lord and in the power of His might (II Timothy 2:15) and many other Scripture references are listed here. In addition to our own spiritual workouts and healthy eating, we need to seek out mentors that can help us and instruct us in the Word of God so we are prepared to face the course ahead of us. Elijah mentored Elisha, Eli mentored Samuel, Mordecai mentored Esther, Naomi mentored Ruth, Moses mentored Joshua, Jesus mentored his 12 disciples and Paul mentored Timothy and many others, just to name a few mentorships in the Bible.
Next time we’ll pick up where we left off and continue on our discussion of the life’s race.