Life is a race, but it’s nothing about being first to the finish line – the finish line is just that: the place we finish. Because life is a race only with ourselves, and the healthy integration of our circumstances, we have nothing to gain in compromising ourselves, just as we have nothing to lose in getting back on the horse having fallen – which we are bound to do many times.
There are at least five good reasons to run the race of life well:
1. We have a Prize worth waiting for us at the end: conditional only on belief in Jesus Christ – to believe by faith in grace – is the fact that our resting in eternity, having passed through life, having run the race well, by the pure qualification of our faith, however effective it has been. We really have no idea how good it will be, but knowing how incredibly brilliant the Lord has designed life, can it be any less glorious in eternity? A loving God we shall meet.
2. We have fewer regrets: continuing to run the race of life well there is much less we would do over. The wisest of lives has this claim: there are few regrets, and these are the things we have learned. And when even our regrets are regretted no more, we have come to an effective acceptance of that which cannot any longer be changed. Peace.
3. There is the positive impact we make on others’ lives: this is nothing to be underestimated. If we have sown into life by running our race well, we have made a positive difference in others’ lives, too. We have been encouragement. We have been a blessing.
4. We have made an impact in life itself: not that this is the be all and end all, but there is a certain level of satisfaction spared for the legacy we have left; our own individual mark on the landscape of faith, which clarifies people’s compass for God. The ability to make some impact – even on one person – is a great driver to run our race well.
5. We save ourselves great pain: when we look back at life from the other end, just shy of the finishing line, we will save ourselves great pain if we have run our race well. There will be an allowance for slipping peacefully into the Presence of God; the best of deaths.
Life is a race, but it’s nothing about being first to the finish line – the finish line is just that: the place we finish. Running our race well is the application of wisdom to our purpose in life. There will be fewer regrets and a legacy for having run well.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.