One of my favorite track and field events in Olympic Games is hurdling.
The game entails running and jumping over an obstacle at speed. To win the prize, an athlete reaches a designated finishing point before everyone else—while still maintaining the regulations that hurdlers must run and jump over each hurdle and land on both feet while checking their forward motion.
A series of hurdles are set at measured heights and distances. Failure to clear them—either by passing under them or by intentionally knocking them over—results in disqualification. While accidentally knocking over hurdles isn’t a cause for disqualification, contact with hurdles decreases speed and disrupts a hurdler's technique.
Focusing on the finish line is a technique that leads to efficient hurdling during a race. Paul compared the Christian life to hurdling and admitted he had not yet arrived at the finish line. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize.” Paul did not look back and allow his past failures to weigh him down with guilt. Nor did he let his present successes make him complacent. He pressed toward the goal of becoming more like Jesus.
We are running this race too. Despite past failures or successes, keep pressing on toward the ultimate goal of becoming more like Jesus. We are not racing for an earthly prize, but for the ultimate reward of enjoying Him forever.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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