My wife and I ran in a marathon a couple of years ago. It was exciting... for the first few miles.
When we arrived, there were thousands of individuals gearing up and warming up for the race that was before them. People were chatty, laughing, and some very seriously focused on the task ahead of them. All was abuzz of anticipation. This was my first race so it was easy for me to get carried away with the electricity in the air.
The gun sounded... our race had begun. The huge mass of people sprinted out and jockeyed for position before settling into their "race position" for the long haul of the marathon.
Many people who have run any kind of distance race share the feeling of being carried away by the excitement and adrenaline of the moment when the race begins. For runners, this is a critical time. If a runner starts off too fast, there will be little energy for the second half of this adventure.
When we first start this journey in following Christ.... as we begin to walk in the grace of Jesus, most of us were excited and started out of the gates on fire, in eager expectation of the race before us. We were being cheered on by the crowd. Many of us were, in some way or another, surrounded by fellow runners. But, this is a distance race. Just like the race that Theresa and I ran that day when we got to mile 9…10…11…12…ugh! It got difficult! The adrenaline and excitement of the race had worn off miles ago!
What motivated us was the expectation and anticipation of the arrival of the finish line. The end of the race was burning in our hearts as the running of the race burned in our legs and lungs!
Yes, beginning faith in Christ is very exciting and anxious for most. Spiritual adrenaline and the support of “the crowds” of fellow believers may give us a burst of energy, but… as we travel this path, we eagerly anticipate the return of Jesus Christ! This is the finish line for this race. While our spiritual legs and lungs may be burning, our hearts long for His return.
Revelation 22 is the last chapter of the Bible. Can I challenge you to read this chapter as a reminder of our finish line? Runners who forget the finish line dropout of the race or lose focus as to why they are even running. Keep your eyes on the finish line and finish strong!
Have a great week!