A Race to the Finish

I was outpacing my competitors, closing in on the person in front of me. I reached my stride, my breathing comfortable, my mood confident I would overcome. I was determined to run this race to win.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NASB)

Then I felt it, someone put their foot in front of me to trip me. I felt myself tumble to the ground, scraping my knees as I fell. Pain reverberated through my body as I slammed onto the hard track. I watched the legs of other runners pass me.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8

I lay on the ground and gazed at the pack of runners continuing down the track. “Someone tripped me! No fair. That’s cheating.” But the officials just ignored me as I made myself stand up. My body hurt. I was discouraged. I was about to win this race. I was ready to give up when I heard cheering — first low, then rising to a crescendo. I looked at the stands and saw a crowd of people chanting, “Run, run, run!”

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

I felt a surge of energy race through my body. “I can do this,” I told myself. I turned toward the pack of runners now in the distance and began to trot, then run. Slowly I closed in on the pack. As I passed several runners I saw someone try to trip me again, but this time I was ready. I leaped over the foot and passed more runners. Ahead, I could see the finish line. I pushed my body harder, pressing toward the finish line.

© 2021 CGThelen

Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. – 1 Corinthians 9:25

He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. – Revelation 21:7

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