March 23, 2020
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV
What is the key to running a successful marathon? Anyone who has ever attempted long-distance running knows that the most important piece of the puzzle is finding and setting a sustainable pace. There is an old saying that has been used and rebranded hundreds of times, and yet still remains powerful; “Life isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.” The focus is about crossing the finishing line, not the time in which it took us to get there.
Paul is the perfect example of setting a sustainable pace in our faith life. He is arguably one of the most recognizable followers of Jesus that we read about in the bible. Paul was a revolutionary man. Paul would also go on to write a lot of the books that we now look to as the New Testament. Paul had so many successes in his life, and if the story stopped there, it would seem as if things went pretty well. The thing is, there were also a lot low points in Paul’s life. He was beaten and thrown in jail many times. He was shipwrecked, mocked, tortured, and a long list of other terrible things. And yet even through all the difficulties in his life, we see Paul keep his bearing. Paul keeps his focus on the finish line and says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
We too, as followers of Christ, are called to remain faithful in this journey we call life. To find a pace of faith that is sustainable. And one of the best ways to do this is to make space for God in our daily lives. Because faith requires effort. It requires space to develop and grow. And all too often, when we get busy in life, the first thing to go is our time with God. When this happens we lose track of God, because there is so much that needs to get done, and so little time to do it all. Some of the most effective advice I was ever given in regard to my personal spiritual development was this, “Set a time and place to meet with God, every day. Put it into your schedule, and then make sure it happens.” We are a schedule driven people. We have the best of intentions, but the ultimate problem is that we are absent minded. There is a power in writing something down and making space for it in our day. We need a space where we can be with God with no distraction, where we can dive into the Word, where we can pray, and where we can actively listen.
Today as you start off your week, make sure you set aside time with God. Set the pace for the rest of the week. Reconnect with Him and ask Him to give you the endurance to run this race.