“In a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (I Corinthians 9:24) If my life had a motto, this scripture would be it. Run to win! I grew up in a fiercely competitive home. My Dad was a world class runner and renowned cross country and track coach. By the time I was six, I competed in my first mile race. At 16 I ran a marathon in 3 hours 14 minutes, qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Growing up, I was expected to set goals and train consistently.
Equally prevalent in our home was the emphasis on following Jesus. My parents passed the baton of faith in Christ on to my brothers and I. In 2 Kings chapter 2 we are given a glimpse into the passing of the baton from the prophet Elijah to Elisha. It was the day that the Lord would take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. (an amazing way to go!) Elisha insists on sticking close by Elijah’s side – wanting to soak in all of his mentor’s wisdom and character. In verse 9 Elijah turns to Elisha and says, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you? Ask me anything.” Elisha’s reply reveals his deep desire to follow in Elijah’s footsteps. “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.” The Message translation reads, “Your life repeated in mine. I want to be a holy man just like you.” Wow! Elijah passed on his character and calling to Elisha.
I thank God for my parents and the opportunity to learn from their lives and examples. From my Mom I inherited a passion for people. She is an encourager. From my Dad I inherited a passion to study and teach God’s Word. He is a teacher. My desire is to take the baton my parents have passed to me and run with it. Run fast! Run to win!
I Corinthians 9:25 continues, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” I have boxes of broken and rusted trophies from my running competition days. They didn’t last. (lots of good memories and lessons though.) Our reward for running the race of faith will last forever. We will receive it from Jesus Himself who is the “starter and champion” of our faith race. (Hebrews 12:2) The best decision I ever made was to put my faith in Christ as the forgiver of my sins and coach of my life. Have you “registered” for the Race of Faith yet? Your entry fee has already been paid. By Jesus, on the cross. Have you received His payment? Who has passed the baton of faith to you? I’d love to hear how your race of faith is going.