It is never easy to get back on your feet when you have fallen flat on your face. Taking a tumble in life hurts whether it is with a face plant on a cross country trail or when you fail miserably in your life. When you fail personally, and let others down, you find grit and gravel embedded in your heart, rather than on your hands and face. Running the race of life is an individual quest. We are all called to it, cannot escape the reality of it, and somewhere along the way, we will fall down more times than we care to count.
When a runner prepares for a meet, there is rigorous training, and conditioning. Breaking the tape at the finish line does not happen unless you take running seriously, and are prepared for the tough challenges that will impact your body. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth about taking their faith to the next level of responsible accountability, and used the illustration of a runner competing in a race.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. “ 1 Corinthians 9:23-25
As we run along the track of life we all discover that the older we get, the more traits and physical characteristics we display that resemble our parents. Even though we may chaff at that reality there is a DNA result of a progressive transformation on the outside, so that others who knew our parents might say, “You are getting to look more and more like….” Kind of scary.
Unlike Forest Gump, who wasn’t sure why he was running across America, running the race of life has to do with a personal participation with God’s call upon one’s life. We are to become transformed progressively within, so that our lives mirror the character of Jesus Christ.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
Paul understood the cost of becoming a spiritual runner and he wanted to make it clear that it is a lifetime marathon, not a 100 yard sprint.
It is devastating to fail in the race of life, especially when you know better and in the falling, you find it so much harder to get back in the race.
The past may be your prison, and bound up you may be. God's healing truly can set you free from painful memories. Stop the fleeting race of life...hush the breathless pace,
pause and gain new strength within The Quiet Place...