In every race , there are three distinct group of participants :
* those who are in it for the sheer fun of being part of the race ; but they are in it with or without the ambition to reach the finishing line .
* those who are in the race to finish the race ; but they are running with no intentions or ambitions of wining any medals; and
* those who are in the race with the determination and ambition to win the race and to win it gloriously .
This third group are not only in the race to win it , but to do so in record time , with a medal , preferably a gold medal .
One could say that at the end of any race , winning medals is not the point but what matters is that after the race, each of the groups of runners would go home happy ; because each of them would have gotten what they desired (deserved?).
Usually, the purpose and the rewards for running any race would determine the extent of the efforts put in by the participants before and during the race .
For your local bowling club’s charity fete , you could decide to be a clown and jog lightly throughout the fund-raising race because how and when you get to the finish line is irrelevant .
In that case, you doing a jog- walk would be adequate to complete the fete's one kilometre charity run , maybe after one hour of fun jogging.
What you promised your sponsors was your participation to raise funds and that you would try to reach the FINISH line in the fund-raising show .
But when or if your life depended on you winning a race , you would be in it to win it , at all cost!
Like, if you came face-to-face with a charging ferocious lion ; you would surprise yourself and everybody who knows you , because you would break many track and field world records as you would definitely run , jump and swim in record time , just to escape with your dear life ; far away from the man-eater !
You would run to escape serious threats to your life ; just as well be alert and focused with the intention to win the most important Race of your life - the Life-long Race to hold on to Eternal Life .
“I therefore so run , not as uncertainly, so fight I , not as one that beateth the air : But I keep under my body , and bring it under subjection; lest that by any means , when I have preached to others , I myself should be a cast away.”
1 Corinthians 9: 26,27.
People would give various excuses why they could not find the time to train and prepare for a race. So they enter a race unprepared with weak muscles and with the Joker's Mentality.
Just as some would give excuses why they "just want to make heaven only "; but they are not interested in winning any “ stars and crowns” , when they get to heaven !
Then they trudge along in the Race of Life with weak spiritual muscles ; falling and rising or falling and failing to rise and even quitting the Race , outright!
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things DONE IN THE BODY, according to what He has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Enduring to remain in the Race till the Finish line is a Grace-fuelled decision.
By strength shall no man prevail for the Race is not to the swift , nor the battle to the strong .
1 Samuel 2:9.
A strong intention is not the qualification or the currency for medals in this Race ; GRACE and FAITH are .
“Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back , my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition ; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul ”. Hebrews 10: 38, 39.
Many have started the Race with lofty intentions and with high aims ; but they fell by the way side because they trusted in their own strength and their own understanding.
In the Life-long Race , turning back is NOT an option and it is not our portion .
Nobody says it will be easy-going throughout the Race.
Be in it to win it ; be alert , be focused and determined to win the Race .
At the end after breasting the finishing tape , there is a Glorious Crown awaiting all Finishers .
The Lord is on our side and He strengthens us always . Winning is our portion .