A Marathon, Not a Sprint

This afternoon, I sat with my family and watched the last leg of the women’s Olympic marathon race.  It made me tired just watching the agony of the final five kilometers.

My first thought was “Why would anyone want to do this?”  My second thought was “I know a lot of people who want to do this.”  Are they all crazy or what?

Then Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana crossed the finish line first and set a women's Olympic marathon record at 2:23:07.  She dropped to the ground after crossing the finish line in either ecstatic exaltation or enormous exhaustion.

On the other hand, yesterday, Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the 100 meter race in 10.75 seconds.  I can hold my breath for ten seconds.  When she finished she wasn’t even breathing that hard.  She is now known as the fastest woman on earth.

It got me to thinking…what is the winner of the marathon known as?…The most resolute woman on earth?

Then my thoughts turned to the life of a Christian.  I have always believed that the life we live in Christ is a marathon and not a sprint.

Often times, when we first come to faith, we are alive with enthusiasm and the ardent desire to grow.   Then the rigors of life set in and we discover that the pace of our spiritual ardor diminishes and we realize that it is going to be a long haul.

The ups and downs of life make the life of a Christ-follower a marathon.  It is all about endurance rather than speed.

Little wonder that Paul wrote near the end of this earthly existence, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).  After reading about Paul’s life in the Book of Acts, it is very apparent that he considered his life a marathon and not a sprint.

If life is a race, then the finish line is death.  Unfortunately, none of us know where the ribbon is stretched across the track or course of our life.  Our finish line is known only by the One who created us.  As a result, we rarely know when to begin our “finishing kick”.  Rather, we just continue to put one foot in front of the other and make our way forward to our eventual finish line.

Our hope should be that the Lord will strengthen us in whatever portion of the race we currently find ourselves and fortify us with the knowledge that someday we can utter the words spoken by the Apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith, I have finished my marathon”.

Something to think about...