“Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only receives the prize. Run in such a way to win the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24
I am convinced the Apostle Paul was a runner. He at least was enamored with athletic prowess and running in particular so much that he used the imagery as metaphor and analogy on multiple occasions. Here is one such example where he is most likely referring to the Ancient Olympic or Isthmian games.
Running is not as much about speed as it is endurance. In that sense, “running” as a metaphor for the Christian life is apropos. Good runners have their minds and attention on one thing: finishing the race.
Perhaps you’ve seen the Kendrick Brothers’ film, “Overcomer” (if you haven’t, you should!). We need to be mindful that though life gives us every reason to drift of course, get distracted, and be disqualified, Christ has given us every reason to desire to finish well. That is why the Apostle Paul takes his spiritual discipline so seriously (verse 27).
We have been promised, not a laurel wreath leaf crown like ancient athletes, but for those who endure to the end, a crown of life (Revelation 2:10). When our race is done, may we be able to say with the Apostle by God’s grace, “I have finished my course.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
“Father, help me this day to stay on course, to run the race, to run for the prize on my heavenward journey toward my reward in Christ Jesus, Amen.”