The race of life
For those who have not accepted Christ, they have not even entered the race. For those who have accepted Christ, for many, it is a marathon; a long journey. Acceptance does not equate to an immediate placement in heaven. It means that you have started the journey and for many it can be a long, long road.
Some being Christians for decades on end, for others, they may have only started the trip when life was cut short.
Here’s the thing though, we are not promised tomorrow. There is no guarantee we will be here the next minute.
For those who have not accepted Christ it may mean they die without even entering the marathon of Christianity.
For those who have accepted Christ, it may only be for a minute or less or it could be for 60, 70 or 80 years.
So here is the question: Are you in the race and if not, then why not? And if you are in the race, how are you running it?
Like a kid in a candy store, some folks accept Christ and run hard, run fast, hit the ground running and then they burn out.
Some hit the ground shuffling their feet, drudging and dragging along, not making any headway. They are the same today as they were 20 years ago.
We have to remember two important facts. First, in a marathon you have to pace yourself. Second, in a marathon, you still have to keep running.
In Isaiah 41:10 the prophet Isaiah reminds us with these words from God,
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
There is your reminder. There is your encouragement.
If you have been running this marathon of the Christian walk for long, for so many years and you are feeling like there is nothing more to do, nowhere else to go, nothing else to keep moving for — check in with God, turn to God, rely on God, ask God. He will give you strength, direction and guidance to keep moving forward. Maybe slower, maybe in a different way, but he will keep you moving forward in this marathon of life.
If you have sprinted through this Christian walk and you are tired from over doing, tired from over-extending, tired from burning so fast and so hard — stop. Breathe. Take a break. Turn to God to refresh you, to restore you, to redirect you and refocus you and then get back in the race.
If you have not accepted Christ or just accepted Christ and this marathon seems overwhelming or daunting, remember God is with you, God will strengthen you, will encourage you and will run this race with you.
In any case you are not in this race alone. Be patient, be faithful and pace yourself.
Rev. Barry Vassar is pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.