Joining a fun run gave me a fresh perspective of what it really means to finish our Christian race. Here are the amazing and remarkable lessons I learned from running.
It was a cold Sunday morning when I started running. After a few minutes, a thin layer of sweat started to cover the nape of my neck. My heart was starting to beat faster and my leg muscles got tighter.
It was just a month ago when I decided to run 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) and now, I was actually there trying to stay in the race and finish it the quickest time possible.
Finally, after 1 hour and 14 minutes, I was able to cross the finish line!
The euphoria I felt while running with hundreds of other runners and the self-fulfillment I experienced after finishing my very first 10K race just filled me with elation.
Looking back, there are a lot of surprising lessons I learned from this race and I would like to share them with you. Read them today and who knows, you might get inspired to run as well. 🙂
Not all are called to run the race
When I first heard of the Davao International Marathon, I’m not interested. I mean, who would like to pay someone so you can run 10 kilometers and wear yourself to death? I can run every day for free. I even like playing basketball more than running.
However, the Davao International Marathon is different from others. One of the organizers of the event is a friend of ours and my wife convinced me that it would be a great experience for me.
Thank God that I listened to her!
So, after a few days, we went to the mall where we paid the registration fee. Now, I have to wait 20 days for the race.
I think there’s an analogy here that we can use to explain our Christian race.
Not all people knew about the marathon and not all who have heard about it joined.
There are only a few who did answer the call to be part of the race.
Matthew 22:14 tells us, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Revelation 17:14 even tells us that it is NOT enough to simply be called and chosen, but you must also be “faithful.”
While I was running, not all are in the same race as I was. Some are simply watching, others are on their way to work, while others are simply doing what they need to do at the moment.
It only shows that to be in the Christian race, it should be a conscious and willing decision of wanting to be part of it.
God has called us, but He will not force us.
He simply extends the invitation and He wants you to accept it. It would be up to you whether you will answer or not.
Don’t compare your progress to others
The people who participated in the race are different. There are those who are fit and healthy, while others are out of shape and feeble. Some are young while others are old. Some are highly trained, while others are unprepared.
In the race, it is too easy for us to compare ourselves to others. However, this is unwise and can either lead to disappointment or pride.
Disappointment if you compare yourself to others who are stronger than you.
Pride if you compare yourself to those who are weaker than you.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (II Corinthians 10:12).
During the race, I could see people who are faster than me but I was also able to overtake some people as well. It only shows that everyone has their own abilities and fitness level.
God is patiently working with all of us. He doesn’t automatically disqualify us from the race simply because we stopped running and chose to slow down. We all have areas in life to improve on. Even the best runners in the world are not perfect.
So, instead of comparing yourself to others, why not compete with yourself? Try to improve your spiritual life day by day.
The other runners are not the standard, but rather it is Yahshua or Jesus Christ. We should look unto Him as the Captain and Author of our salvation.
You need to have a clear vision of your destination
One of the hardest things you will ever do is to run a race where you don’t know where the finish line is. If you don’t have an idea of how far or long your race will be, you would have a hard time pacing yourself.
Thankfully, I am familiar with the route. I also have my smartphone showing me how many minutes I have already run, the distance I have covered, and how much more time I need to reach my destination.
Simply put, if you don’t know where you are going, then how can you expect that you will ever get there?
In the same way, we must have a clear vision of God’s Kingdom. It is our ultimate destination and all that we say, think, and do should lead us to that glorious place.
You have to finish the race to get the price
It is common knowledge that you only get rewarded when you finish the race. You don’t see runners with medals hanging on their neck while they are still in the competition.
No one receives a price by simply starting the race.
In our Christian race, we must remember that the race is not over until you cross the finish line. Quitting should never be an option.
It’s all worth it
Whether you are running a fun run or marathon, there’s no doubt that you have to exert a MASSIVE effort to finish the race. It is never an easy task to cross the finish line. It will hurt your muscles, shorten your breath, and drench you with sweat. You might even feel nauseous, weak, and about to faint.
However, no matter what you do, you must continue running or even moving. Inch by inch, as slow or painful it might be, at least you are making progress and you are moving closer to your destination.
The Bible tells us, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).
God will be with us throughout the race. He has promised that he will not leave us nor forsake us.
If you feel weak, look to God and obtain your strength from Him. He shall be your rest, refuge, and comfort.
When you cross that finish line and receive your reward, you can always look back and tell yourself, “It’s all worth it.”
All the hardships, sacrifices, and pain you have endured throughout the race are nothing compared to the glorious reward that you will receive at the very end.
Running isn’t my cup of tea. Thus, I was surprised to see how much lessons I have learned from participating in a fun run. Truly, new experiences give you new insights into life.
As I was running, I remember the motivational words penned by the Apostle Paul thousands of years ago in I Corinthians 9:24-27:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, BUT WE FOR AN IMPERISHABLE CROWN.
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.
I do hope you learned a lot from this blog as much as I learned a lot from the race. May this remind us that we are part of Christian race – a race that is one of kind because it leads to eternal life.
Therefore, let us do our best to obtain that imperishable crown and hear the sweet words of our Heavenly Father when we complete the race, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”