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!”
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