Thursday, January 21, 2010

RUN the Race

I have never been much of an athlete. Sports have never really interested me, probably because I wasn't good at any of them! I do enjoy watching certain sports, and I love watching the Olympics. I know that people who run in a race, whether it be a sprint or a marathon or any distance in between, dress as lightly as possible. They don't want to be weighed down by heavy clothes because that would prevent them from running as fast as they could. In longer races, a runner who chose to wear bulky/heavy clothes would not have a chance of winning, and they very possibly would not even be able to finish the race because they would be too exhausted and/or overheated.

The Christian walk is often referred to as a race in the Bible, with the finish line being heaven. I did a search online for the word "race" in the NIV Bible and specifically looked for verses where the word was used to describe how we "run the race" or "finish the race" and found 6 references (Acts 20:24, I Corinthians 9:24, Galatians 2:2, Galatians 5:7, 2 Timothy 4:7, and Hebrews 12:1). For most of us, the race of life would be more of a marathon that a sprint, so it is very important that we are not being slowed down by carrying along things that weigh us down.

The other day I read the following verse: Philippians 3:13b -14 says "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." When I read this verse, I was reminded of how easy it is to focus on things that have happened in our past. It doesn't matter whether it is something that happened to us or whether it is something we did, we can allow ourselves to be weighed down by our past. If we are running this race called life, why would we risk not being able to reach the finish line....heaven?!

If you are holding onto things that have happened to you in your past, it is time to turn those things over to God and throw off those chains that are weighing you down! If you are focusing on things you did wrong in the past, ask God to forgive you of those things and then let it go! When you ask God for forgiveness, He forgives and FORGETS all of the things you did worng. It doesn't matter how big or small those things are. You don't need to keep worrying and being weighed down by chains that God Himself removed from you. Instead of slowly dragging yourself through life because you are weighed down by all this junk, get rid of it so you can RUN to the finish line!

I think those verses in Philippians can be paraphrased like this: "Forget about all the stuff that is in your past! Turn it all over to God and keep moving forward no matter what. When you reach the finish line, you'll receive the best prize of all...eternal life in HEAVEN!"