THE MARATHON RUNNER
The marathon runner trained day after day running many kilometers for fitness and strength. On weekends extra kilometers are added for additional toughness. No matter how his muscles hurt, his lungs protested, he ran on over sand dunes, down streets, up hills and down. He would not give up, jogging always jogging.
For the Marathon man winning wasn’t the issue, it was finishing the race, proving to himself he could do it. The hours and days of training, sacrificing, discipline paid off when he ran a personal best in the event. The accolades of the family as they clustered around him added to the sense of satisfaction and achievement.
THE RACE TO THE CROSS
Jesus Christ was a marathon man, he may never have run an organized race, but he ran the race to win the world and save it from itself. Jesus race ended on the cross, his family stood around him not offering accolades of praise but sobs of sorrow, bewilderment and wondering why he had to die. His disciples had no praise for him; some distanced themselves from him.
The marathon of the crucifixion over, death, hell, and wickedness conquered, Jesus sat down at the right hand of his Father. The Father accepted what he had done and gave him all the accolades of Heaven. Jesus saw his marathon achieved all his Father decreed, and humankind saved.
Jesus entered the throne room and sat down at his Father’s right hand. When Jesus entered the throne room, he threw the door wide open for us all to come and live in the presence of the Father forever; the door would never close again to us. We, the children of God were made good enough by Christ to live in the throne room forever.
For you and I, life is a marathon race. We strive each day to live as a Christian, but at the end of the day, our striving has brought us nothing but emptiness. Gritting our teeth and saying we’ll be true at whatever the cost, to the bitter end, doesn’t do any good. If our Christian life is just going through the motions, we’ll soon become disillusioned. If we feel God hasn’t kept his promises; he hasn’t answered our prayers; he hasn’t made us a success like we hoped he would. Our marathon becomes an amble. We search for the perfect church, but can’t find it. We cease to go to church, we drop out, cease to believe. We move into the secular world because it seems a happier place. It shows we are running by the rules without a relationship with the Father. Without a personal relationship, with the Father, the rules of the Christian life are meaningless.
Marathon man/woman, if we are running by the rules of our religion, no wonder we are disillusioned and want to quit the Christian life. The staying power of the Christian marathon is the relationship of a powerful love that sustains through the ups and downs, highs and lows of life’s marathon.
FROM GLORY TO GLORY
We can run the race well; disillusionment doesn’t have to set in. What if the church isn’t perfect? There is no perfect church. If the revelation of the powerful love God has for us lights our heart, perfect church or not; we’ll not be thinking about dropping out but moving forward from glory to glory.
Yes, we are people made over by God. Not made over by our effort to keep the rules but made over by Jesus Christ who comes to live within our spirit when we commit to him by faith. Let us accept the complete make-over of our spiritual self Jesus offers by inviting him into our heart. The Father sees our make-over by Jesus’ as perfect. Let’s run the marathon of life in Christ and he in us.
‘Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, running with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ Heb 12: 1
Author: "You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page" - Jodi Picoult