Aim for the Prize

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

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Not everyone understands running.

It’s not that they don’t understand the physical aspect of it. People know how to put one foot in front of the other and move in a forward motion.

Most people understand that anyway. Three year olds are a little iffy.

People often do not understand the desire to run. They make fun of those out jogging or when they know a runner they give them grief over it.

I get it though. Running is difficult. There’s nothing else to focus on, just your own breathing, and the sound of your feet against the pavement. When breathing becomes labored and legs start to ache, it is not easy to keep going.

Which is why it is so important to have a clear goal. While running a race, there is a prize at the end. While training for the race, the prize is always on your mind. Each run is one step closer to being able to claim the prize.

A runner will also set himself up for success by adapting disciplines to follow while training. One may go without soda for an extended period of time. The runner may restrict his diet, allowing his body the best chance for recovery and more sustainable energy.

Everything the runner does is in preparation to attain the prize.

Our journey of faith is the same. In a few different places, Scripture refers to our faith as a race. In the verse above, Paul says to run to obtain the prize.

Much like a runner we have to keep the prize in focus, or else we begin to wonder why we are running this race in the first place. Obstacles come up in life which can easily distract us. These obstacles sometimes seem to have a more instant prize and payoff. It can be easy to jump off the track and run to these distractions.

Eyes on the prize.

There are also obstacles which can hurt us. Painful events in our life pop up and can leave us wondering why we even started running in the first place.

Eyes on the prize.

Scripture also outlines a way of living God expects from us. Some people feel the rules are unfair. Some have begun to say they are for an old way of life and God does not expect us to follow them. However, we do not find that distinction in Scripture. So when we begin to wonder why we are keeping with these disciplines:

Eyes on the prize.

Running is not easy. Keeping the faith is not easy.

It is worth it though. Keep your eyes on the prize.