and it set me to pondering this verse.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (New Living Translation)
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
that set me to thinking about how i’m running. am i just running to stay in shape? do i run because it’s the thing to do? do i run because i fear what is behind me?
i want to run to win! i want to give it my all to impact culture!
i know lots of runners. most run for fitness or enjoyment. those are great things. it is quite an achievement to finish a long distance race, but I think Paul is talking about us in our marathon to godliness as elite runners, the ones who are running to win.
a few weeks ago Amy and i were watching the biopic “Prefontaine” and i was struck by Steve Prefontaine’s drive and how it correlates to this passage. he ran hard to finish and win.
“How does a kid from Coos Bay, with one leg longer than the other win races? All my life people have been telling me, ‘You’re too small Pre’, ‘You’re not fast enough Pre’, ‘Give up your foolish dream Steve’. But they forgot something, I HAVE TO WIN.”-Steve Prefontaine
“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.” -Steve Prefontaine
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”-Steve Prefontaine
“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”-Steve Prefontaine
had his life not been cut short by a tragic auto accident Pre, as he was called, might have gone on to be the finest distance runner the world has ever seen, but even in that last quote, we see he was running for a prize that is “perishable”, but we run for a prize that is eternal.
keep running, and run hard!