It's so good to be back after a few weeks break over the summer period.
The following story is thanks to a friend of mine for bringing it to my attention.
My friend recently posted a news clip on Facebook from BBC News with the title "US runner praised after stopping mid-race to help fallen rival". The story is about two athletes who were competing in the qualifying heat for the 5,000 metres. Hamblin, the New Zealand Athlete fell and as she did she also tripped up US athlete, D'Agostino. Instead of getting up and running on D'Agostino helped Hamblin to her feet, encouraging her to finish the race. Later D'Agostino fell as she had been injured from the first fall and this time it was Hamblin's turn to help her up and encourage her to keep going. They were both awarded the International Fair Play Committee Award Medal for their Olympic spirit.
In the Bible the writer Paul uses the example of athletes and running a race as an illustration of our Christian life and spiritual journey.
1. Running with Focus
Hamblin and D'Agostina kept going, they finished their race, despite tripping up and despite injuries.
God calls us to endure and persevere in the race set before us. The race can be exhausting at times, we may trip up, we may feel weak, we may sometimes get discouraged. Sin can entangle us and cause us to slip up. Difficulties may come into our lives such as poor health, financial worries, heartache etc. But we have a wonderful example of Jesus who ran his race with purpose and endurance and is now seated at the Father's right hand. So we run with endurance, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.
3. Running with Others
We do not run this race alone. It is not a competition. We run this race with others. First, God is with us every step of the way. God says to us:
Secondly, with those who are also running this race. They encourage us to keep going, to not give up. They provide support along the way. Just as these two female athletes did. We need to encourage one another in our Christian journey. There will be times when I can offer encouragement and support, and there will also be times when I am in need of that same encouragement and support.
Is the race tough for you right now? What helps you to keep pushing on and enduring?