As some of you know, Hal and I trained for and ran a 5 km race a few Saturdays ago. For training, we had marked out a roughly 2 km lap around several blocks in Verdun. Two to three times a week we ran enough to make up 5km, sometimes just a bit more. With no hills, and by keeping conversation as we ran, the training was relatively easy.
However, on race day, we both agreed that, while we would start out running together, if at any point either of us had the energy to run ahead, we could part ways and run at our own individual paces. Well, that happened, and as we both discovered, things were much more difficult. There were hills, mud, and no conversation! Although I wanted to stop and walk, I wanted more to be able to say I ran the entire race without stopping. So, with many utterances of “Lord, don’t let me stop!” and even a 100m sprint to the finish, I can honestly say I ran the entire race, only a minute off our pace in training. (Hal was only 2 seconds off!)
Paul, in 2 Timothy, was nearing the end of his race – his life. Many of his close companions had deserted him, and he was truly in death’s grip. However, rather than relaxing, he continued to fight for the gospel by preaching, teaching and praying – he kept running until he crossed the finish line.
Our finish line is when we can see Jesus face-to-face. Before that, we’ll have our hills, mud, and sometimes, we won’t have anyone to talk to! But let’s keep running to the finish line, calling on God’s strength, and making sure we don’t stop.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7.