Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 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. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 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. I Corinthians 9:24-27
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18
This new series is my additional thoughts on the book Run To Win by one of my favorite speakers Christine Caine. The sub title to the book is Pursuing God and Finishing Strong. Of Christine Caine I have to say that I was introduced to her ministry at my church as I was coming out of a deep pit I allowed myself to fall into, but God’s use of her motivating words gave me more strength to finish moving out of that pit. Not only was I moved by her teaching, but also she helped me decide to join the church that is so a part of my life now. She has the book split into eight parts, so I will do this over an eight week period for another series. The above two verses are the ones she points to in the first part which I will put my own spin as I will for the rest of the book. I like the idea of the Christian life is much like running a marathon, in preparation, practice and execution.
The first verse is the key verse to the whole book, where Paul says we are to run to win the race. In fact the reality is we have already won the race because of what Jesus did for us, we just have to maintain the pace and stamina we have to get to the finish line in life. Christine talks about the next verse where the marathon runner has a vision for the whole race. Many people lose their vision because sometimes circumstances can throw you off the pursuit. She recounts a time in her life where she felt alone in her pursuit of what God wanted for her life. For me that time was lose the 242 pounds to make myself healed of heart failure and an early grave. I felt very much alone during that time, but I also had support from people around me. I was alone in the aspect that I had to do the changes and the choices to help me lose all that weight. Going through this time gave me vision for my race in life and what God wants me to pursue. Writing a book on my journey and helping others who are trapped in their bodies become significant individuals with a purpose and a passion for life.
Our relationships can help us with our vision. Sometimes they can give us negative reinforcement to go after what God wants us to do. Most times, they are the best encouragement we can have to keep us on track. You can think of them as our cheerleaders cheering us on to the finish line. The half marathon I ran, I could remember seeing the people there cheering us on like crazy. As a runner, I can tell you that there is no better feeling in this world than the cheers people can give you as you move toward that finish line. Relationships are so important in our vision.
The last thing she talks about is long term vision is fitness and health. We need not only to be fit for ourselves, but for our families as well. To live long enough to see our kids grow up and become awesome people. Not only this, but we can serve others better when we feel good about ourselves and are healthy and fit. It’s amazing how fitness can help you feel so much more confident in yourself. I was very fearful in a lot of areas of my life, but as my confidence came around those fears turned to faith in God and how He was working in my life. As it should for a runners life they need to be fit to make it to the finish line.
Long-term vision is found by making obedient choices in our lives. We also need relationships to drive us on toward the goal. Finally, to having good health to achieve the goals God wants us to achieve to be more confident in what we are doing. Vision gives us the drive to give us a strong believers marathon.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.