Never Give Up
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
This morning, one of our lay pastors preached. When I heard that our minister was gone, I admit that I was a little bummed. When you love your minister and look forward to hearing him share God’s word, it’s sometimes a disappointment when he isn’t there.
Well, the sermon turned out to be one of the most powerful messages I’ve heard in a very long time. It was about faithfulness. He shared three ‘potholes’ to faithfulness: Temptations, trials, and pride. He reminded us about Peter – how he would fail, but would always get back up again. And then there was the story about Hosea. If you haven’t heard what God asked Hosea to do, please take some time and look it up. Being obedient to the Lord is what it’s all about, even when it may not make sense.
One thing I want to share (and I hope I do this justice) is his story about him running in the Indianapolis 500 Mini-Marathon. It all started when he was out playing basketball with his 7 year-old son. He quickly discovered he was out of shape, so he decided to stop complaining and DO something about it. Of all things, he decided to start training for a mini-marathon, and at the time – he couldn’t even make it a mile. After a month of training, he discovered that all of this training was HARD TO DO. He wasn’t even sure if he liked running, but he kept on training.
The day finally came for the race, and he did it. He described the rush of being there and hearing all of the people cheering everyone on. He had never made it past 10 miles while training, so when he hit mile marker #11, he wanted to give up. Everything changed. He made the comment that he could no longer hear people cheering and the difference that made. He wasn’t sure if he could make himself go any further. Something inside kept him going, and he finally finished the race. Yes! He finished.
He then compared living life to his race. He mentioned that some of us might be at the mile marker #11, where you’re ready to give up. He reminded us to keep praying, follow through with our commitments, stay the course, and then we will finish well. “It’s not how you started the race that matters, but how you finished it.” ~ Dave Choutka