1 Corinthians 9:24-27
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. And 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.
I never ran track while in high school. I think that I would have enjoyed it. Running was something that I always took great pride in. I remember running laps in recess when I was in elementary school. I was kind of a weird kid in the fact that I always looked forward to it. I had a friend named Darren. We were more “running friends” than anything else (we didn’t really hang out when we were not at recess). Darren and I would always finish our laps together in a tie for first place. Neither one of us really wanted to beat the other one. (I think we were both scared of being the second fastest kid in the fourth grade).
I often wonder where that desire to be first place has gone since I have grown older. As I look closely at my lifestyle I am afraid to admit that my desire to win has not shown up as much in my walk with God as it has in other situations. So often I wake up wanting to be more devoted to God, or be used in great ways by the Lord. By lunchtime, however, I have usually forgotten about my morning prayers and find myself lost in the routine of everyday life. I race to school, I race home. I race to work, and sometimes I even feel as if I am racing at work. All of this is done to accomplish what I believe will advance me in life. I work hard at school to get good grades; I work hard at home to have a clean house and an organized family. I even work hard at my job so as to be seen as one who cares about what he does.
While all of this is important, Paul says that my racing is in vain if I race for earthly prizes. I have to realize that regardless of how good my grades are, or how good I work at my job, the prizes that I receive are, in the end, “perishable.” Only what I do for the glory of God will remain. Which race are you running today? Are you running for a perishable prize, or one that will last forever? When you finish your race, will you hear the Lord say, “Well done my good and faithful servant?” It is my prayer that you will.