Race like You Mean it

A Poem by: Emily Aspinall

How I am to drive, starts and ends with Him.
Every thought and action with every limb.

In-between it all, I choose to follow.
For a victory that is not hollow.

Painted lines on course, keeps me on the straight.
Although narrow, it secures my end fate.

Yet many will not make it, I still race.
Set backs, I pit stop, to recharge my pace.

Never giving up, I drive for the prize.
Already obtaining it keeps me wise.

In passion and fear of going off course.
Like good engineering, He fuels my force.

In control, suited up, I drive with ease.
I’m racing for Him who qualifies me.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Don’t Stop

I ran my first 10 km race last year and will run the same race again this year. So, I’ve begun training for it. I remembered how much I loved the mental challenge of simply running non stop until 10 km. In order to not stop, I need to run while feeling fatigued. To help myself push through the fatigue, while maintaining good speed, I focus on these two words, “don’t stop”.

God reminded me that those same two words apply to how I run after Him.

After a recently hard week I had emotionally, I opened up my journal; this time not to vent my thoughts, but to choose God’s thoughts. What would He see as most important in my life? I started listing all the external factors that I was recently complaining about. I started to question if they were most important to God. Sure, they are important, but most important? Perhaps, my spiritual growth is more important. How I love and show God’s love to others, yes, that is what’s most important. I’ve allowed my fatigue from life to stop me from believing truth.

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” – Galatians 5:7.

Instead of truth I had fear…fear of loneliness and fear of lack. But if I believe God and His Word than there is no fear (1 John 4:18), no loneliness (Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10) and definitely no lack (Psalm 23, James 1:1-27). This means I must keep running towards God, keep reading His Word and not stop pursuing Him (Matt 10:38-39). I train to Love because He first loved me (1 John 4:19). So when I run, I run knowing He is with me. So with whatever affliction, fatigue, heartache comes my way I don’t stop. I have hope that this race already comes with a Victory that is Christ.

…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 3:13-14

All it takes is a small break from your fitness regime to feel badly about yourself again. I find the same goes with my spirituality. I question where God is, when it is me that chose the break from Him. Training to be physically healthy requires discipline and perseverance as it becomes a lifestyle. The same can be said with our faith. We need to see pursuing Christ as a lifestyle we commit to daily, knowing and understanding who He is through scripture so our training becomes more effective to our lives and the lives around us (2 Peter 1:3, 5-9). Then the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22) will lead your heart and begin to work through it. In order to pour out Gods goodness and experience His peace we need to be filled up and in doing so means, you, I, we… “don’t stop” running.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1