It was a cold March afternoon with a heavy drizzle falling when we walked onto our High School track for the races that day. I remember well walking through the gates that led to the football stadium where our track was located. I remember how cold I was, but more than that, I remember how excited I was to run in my first official race. I reflected back to a race I ran in second grade of elementary school. There it was all the kids from first to sixth grade running from the starting point to, and around the flagpole and back. My cousin and I were the shortest runners, but we finished first and second. This day, some nine years later, I was going to run in my first official race. I remember stepping to the starting blocks and looking up the track to the finish line. I wanted to cross that line first. Nothing else was on my mind, but that goal that was set out in front of me.
The Bible speaks about a finish line that is in front of every Christian today. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (I Corinthians9:24). We are living in a time when people are against competition. This is another proof that the world has no concept of how God designed us, or the purpose He designed us to be. God made you and I to try our best to reach the goals that are set in front of us! God made you to try your hardest to be the best you can possibly be! He made us to want to succeed!
We seem to have less trouble with this concept when it comes to business, or our favorite sport, or even in a classroom setting. I wonder how many goals we have set for ourselves that involve spiritual things? Do you have a finish line in front of you when it comes to things that will help you develop your spiritual life? Do you have a goal for reading your Bible through every year? Have you set a goal to be faithful to your local church, regardless of what is on TV? Have you asked God to help you pray more often and with more intensity? Have you asked God to help you to be a witness to a neighbor, family member, or stranger? Have you asked God to help you make changes to match biblical principles in your walk with Him?
It is time for every Christian to focus on the finish line, and to press toward that mark without looking to the right or to the left to see what others are doing. The one thing I loved about running on the track team was that I had no one to blame but me if I lost. Set YOUR sights on the goals God has for you and don’t look back or to the side to compare yourself with anyone else. Reach for that crown that awaits the faithful in Heaven!