To live for God is to be blessed to an extreme that is beyond the measure of anything else. To live for God is to accept His invitation to join the race of life. For our participation on His team — having forsaken our own — He promises to train us to finish well on the way to the victory He has already secured for us in His name.
The steps that I should take have been charted out for me from the beginning of this contest, so I accept the call and strain every day to bring my body and mind into agreement with them. And, as difficult as it is to live for the goals my Trainer has set before me, they enable me to become the dedicated runner I need to be in order to grow more excited as I pass each mile-marker.
I don’t race on confident in the caliber of my own ability, but though I constantly slip up and fall down, I rejoice because He who facilitates my performance is fully able to use all these things to make me more focused and obedient to Him. I do not get anxious in spite of the obstacles that slow me down because they are my helpers in disguise; they remind me that this race is not about me, but every feat I accomplish along the way is not exclusive of my efforts. When I make a mistake, Christ picks me up, dusts me off and reminds me that I rest in His perfection and not my own; I am a winner not because of my medals, but because He has chosen me as His medal.
I race because my spot was purchased for me; I have been given the promise that if I leave the wasted life of sideline-living to take the place selected for me in this challenge and continue to press on despite the obstacles, I will realize the larger purpose in being out on this road and cease worrying over how I do.
Where does this assurance come from? Not cockiness, not foolishness, not self-preparation. I know that the One I run for already finished my race for me that I might now run in the foot-path of His monumental death to self. I owe none of my joy in being on this run to my efforts or successes, but like my Savior, I look beyond the heaviness of these present trials and the fatigue they create in me to the joy before me. When this all ever I will have the awesome privilege of knowing eternity with no separation from my Lord.
I want to win, but everything I once held onto to secure that place I have left behind. I race on, but not for the glory of grabbing whatever I can find and making from it a winning campaign, but I race for the sake of what I already have and what I will have. I race because of what I have found — because I know that God’s greatest treasure of companionship, fulfillment, and peace have already been won for me, and that it will furnish all the power I need to finish my part of this race.
I’m not here to try to win on my own strength, but to showcase the beauty of racing in the stride of the only One who finishes this life-race (the race for our Salvation) to His own acclaim.
I don’t boast because I have won and everyone else has lost, but because Someone else has Won in place of all of our losses — even when acknowledging this includes testifying to my loss. I see myself and all of my fellow racers in the same boat and I rejoice that we are not left in our last positions, but are welcomed to become part of the Star Racer’s line. And I enjoy the winnings all the more in welcoming others into it. He is my reward, and I know it well when I can share Him with others.