I Finished the Race!

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There are still moments when you may not see signs of growth in God’s grace or in moving toward perfection in Christ. But when those times occur, let these words echo in your mind: “I finished the race!”

Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. —Hebrews 12:1 (TLB)

It’s hard to admit, but getting older means I’m slower and most tasks take longer than they once did. At thirty, I could clean my house in four hours, tops! Today that job takes twice as long. But I wasn’t as disturbed by my physical slowdown as I was by the snail’s pace of my spiritual journey. My prayer life was more rote and routine than praise and petition. I wasn’t consistently becoming kinder, more generous, or less critical. I was going nowhere.

Then one afternoon I watched my grandson Caleb compete in a cross-country meet. He was in the first group to finish, and I headed to the medal presentation when an official shouted, “Wait! There’s still a runner on the course.” So we waited and watched.

Finally, a full six minutes after everyone else, we cheered as an ex­hausted young man stumbled across the finish line with an exultant grin. “I did it! I finished the race!” he said.

This young man’s goal wasn’t about having the fastest time or getting a medal, but about completing the race. And that, I decided, was a worthy goal for me as well.

There are still moments when I see no signs that I’m growing in God’s grace or going on to perfection in Christ. But when those times occur, the runner’s triumphant words echo in my mind: “I finished the race!”

Lord, guide my feet as I run the course at the speed that You deem best. Amen. —Penney Schwab
Digging Deeper: Heb 12:1–3

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