Read: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1 Corinthians 9:25
A few years ago I came across a quote in a running magazine that I suppose was someone’s running mantra. It said, “Run until you can’t run anymore; until your feet ache and your lungs burn and every muscle in your body is screaming ‘Stop!’ – then turn around and run home.” The point of the mantra is to help a person to press on despite feeling tired or worn out. Continue pressing forward; continue placing one foot in front of the other regardless of how badly it may hurt. Many runners, myself included, have gone out for a practice run and felt like turning around after five minutes of running. Not every day is going to be easy, and their bodies will not feel perfectly all the time. That doesn’t mean they can just give in, however. Most runners have an end goal in mind. They are training for a race or an endurance run that they can claim as their victory. To stop early in a practice run would be defeating the overall goal. It would not help them reach the finish line later on.
The Christian life could fit perfectly into that running mantra. Press on for Christ until you feel like you can go no further. Knock on doors to invite people out to church and tell them of Christ until your feet ache and all of your natural senses are yelling at you to stop. Then go knock on another door. Work with the bus kids until you are worn down and ready to quit, then go out on another Saturday and Sunday to pick them up for church. Volunteer to help beautify the church buildings and grounds when you are already tired from other things you have done that week, and do it with all your heart. The easy thing to do is what, sadly, most Christians are doing today. They are resting when they should be running forward. They are playing when they should be working for Christ. They are struggling in sin when they should be striving toward the goal of what God wants them to accomplish in this life.
For the Christian who is willing to spend and be spent for Christ, God has a much better prize than just the ease that they can enjoy on earth. Those who push themselves to their physical limits for Christ live with a much loftier goal in mind than those Christians who only want to take it easy. They are striving to win the prize that they will one day receive as they kneel before their Saviour. Then it will be worth it all.
Quote of the day: “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”