Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

I have recently taken up running. Now, when I say running, what I mean is more of a fast jog. Perhaps, an impressive mall walker. I’m not breaking any speed records, but I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve enjoyed it.

A couple weeks ago, I ran a one-mile race. It was my first official running event and there was an amazing assortment of people. There were those who clearly took this race very seriously. (Did I mention we were only running one mile?) They had all the running gear and their game face firmly in place.

Then, there were people like me. I’ve got a decent pair of running shoes and I’ve been consistently somewhat consistently occasionally running at the Y for a couple of months. Then, of course, there were some folks who seemed to have taken a wrong turn somewhere and were looking for the nearest Arby’s.

There were many people who made the race look easy. When the race began, they sprinted ahead and out of sight. Some walked the entire way with no interest in beating anyone. Several started out running quickly and, then, had to slow down. Others began slowly but, at some point, increased their speed.

One lady stood out to me. She was up at the front of the group, full of laughter and very excited to begin the race. The starter shot was fired, the mass of people began to move and, almost instantly, she fell. As if in slow motion, she awkwardly hit the pavement and rolled a couple of times. She quickly stood up, glanced around, laughed it off and continued the race – walking instead of running this time.

It was all over in 10-15 minutes and we gathered at the finish line. As I looked around, I saw everyone. The guy with the cool running gear. The women who walked the entire way pushing baby strollers. The ones who (like me) thought it would be a breeze and found it slightly difficult. She was also there – the one who had publicly fallen. She had endured the giggles and the looks of pity and had risen to finish the race.

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

It made me think of the author’s words in Hebrews. He never said that we need to look a certain way, have the impressive gear or be faster than anyone else. We simply need to endure. We need to show up and not quit.

It won’t look the same for all of us. It will look like some are having an easier time but, we must keep in mind, that we aren’t always privy to the training taking place behind the scenes. Perhaps, we will look at some and think, “They aren’t trying very hard,” without realizing the effort it took for them to simply get out of bed that morning. For some of us, the race will be downright ugly. We will stumble, fall and embarrass ourselves. None of that matters. What matters is that we finish the race set before us.

Let us run with endurance.

For in due time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. Hebrews 10:36

I don’t know what your race looks like at this moment. I don’t know what painful training you’ve endured or what stumbles you have made. Here is what I do know, my friend, there is a reward waiting if you don’t give up. And the reward is Jesus Himself.

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end…I will give him the morning star. Revelation 2:26-28

I, Jesus…am the morning star. Revelation 22:16

There is a prize at the end of this faith race and His name is Jesus.

Don’t quit, my friend. Just keep your eye on the prize.

You are loved. <3


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