Paul often used the analogy of an athlete to illustrate how we’re to run the race of Christian living.
He says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-26, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore, I run thus; not with uncertainty. Thus I fight; not as one who beats the air.”
First, he makes it clear that if you’re going to run, make sure you’re running for the right prize. In other words, know why you’re running and know what you’re running for. You see there are lots of prizes out there, but only one that is imperishable, only one that will not fade away.
Secondly, he makes two clear points as to how we should run the race.
One, we should run with direction, not with uncertainty. We must know the purpose of our race and stay focused on that purpose, lest we become distracted by other things.
Two, we must run with discretion, not as one who beats the air. We must choose our battles wisely and not permit trivial things to occupy our mind and use up our energy.
So, let’s stay focused on the prize, let’s run the race well.