In an old time fable we read the story of the young athletic boy hungry for success, for whom winning was everything and success was measured by such a result.
One day, the boy was preparing himself for a running competition in his small native village, himself and two other young boys to compete. A large crowd had congregated to witness the sporting spectacle and a wise old man, upon hearing of the little boy, had traveled far to bear witness also.
The race commenced, looking like a level heat at the finishing line, but sure enough the boy dug deep and called on his determination, strength and power… he took the winning line and was first. The crowd was ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however, felt proud and important.
A second race was called, and two new young, fit, challengers came forward, to run with the little boy. The race was started and sure enough the little boy came through and finished first once again. The crowd was ecstatic again and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man remained still and calm, again expressing no sentiment. The little boy, however, felt proud and important.
“Another race, another race!” – pleaded the little boy.
The wise old man stepped forward and presented the little boy with two new challengers, an elderly frail lady and a blind man. “What is this?” – quizzed the little boy. “This is no race.” – he exclaimed.
“Race!” – said the wise man. The race was started and the boy was the only finisher, the other two challengers left standing at the starting line. The little boy was ecstatic, he raised his arms in delight. The crowd, however, was silent showing no sentiment toward the little boy.
“What has happened? Why don’t the people join in my success?” – he asked the wise old man.
“Race again”, replied the wise man, “This time, finish together, all three of you, finish together.” – continued the wise man.
The little boy thought a little, stood in the middle of the blind man and the frail old lady, and then took the two challengers by the hand. The race began and the little boy walked slowly, ever so slowly, to the finishing line and crossed it. The crowd were ecstatic and cheered and waved at the boy. The wise man smiled, gently nodding his head. The little boy felt proud and important.
“Old man, I don’t understand! Who are the crowd cheering for? Which one of us three?” – asked the little boy.
The wise old man looked into the little boy’s eyes, placing his hands on the boy’s shoulders, and replied softly, “Little boy, for this race you have won much more than in any race you have ever ran before, and for this race the crowd cheered not for any winner!”
As Christians, we too have yet a race to finish……let’s keep on; the race is not over yet, but the finish line is in sight!
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Lk 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
( The race is open to all. Come unto the Lord and ask Him to come into you and live His life through you! ) You and I both have run races, but none has a reward at the end and benefits a long the way as following the Lord Jesus! It does not matter what you did yesterday, but what you do right now will matter when all have finished the race. Be on top! And bring others with you 🙂 )
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.