I've got running on my mind this week because our grandson Calvin will run in his first State Cross Country Meet on Saturday in Fort Dodge. He has worked so hard for over two years to train his body to run distances. He spent the last two summers running up and down and around the gravel roads near his home, throughout the town of Gilbert, through the State Fair grounds, and around golf courses and cross country paths from here to Minnesota. I am so proud of the success he has had this year and the great times he has posted, but even more so I am proud of his determination and commitment to the craft of running. I wish I had the conviction to work that hard on anything.
But that's when I turn to the scriptures to relate running to the path of faith that lies before us. This is the race I want to win the most and the one I want my children and grandchildren to win - the race of life in Christ Jesus. Just as Calvin needs to focus on each step as he takes it, we too must focus on Jesus Christ in this moment and the next, not on what is already past.
"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13b-14 NIV).
As we read scriptures, pray, worship God, fellowship with other Christians, and study His Word, we become familiar with the path and our feet fall surely to the ground, one after the other, moving forward to conquer the hills and the rocky valleys.
"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" (Galatians 5:7 NIV).
Yet, there are times when we lose sight of the goal or someone or something distracts our focus. We sometimes stumble or struggle on the path, losing our way or losing sight of the goal. It is then that we can call out to God and He will hear us and respond to our cry for help. His strength will bolster ours and we will be lifted up to follow the path and pursue the goal with courage and confidence in Him.
"The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:28b-31 NIV).