The gears crashed as a loud grinding sound thundered from under the driver’s seat. The lead car had faded slightly going into turn seven and slammed into the railing sending the number two car spinning into the infield. As the number three car desperately tried to avoid the debris the side wall of a it’s rear tire overheated and exploded into shredded steel and rubber. The car rolled several times before it went end over end finally coming to rest against the concrete T-rail barrier.
As the gun sounded several thousand contestants started out down Main Street. There was barely enough room for all running in the field as several runner’s tripped on the person directly ahead of them causing many athletes to fall to the ground.
Everyone knew that the first mile was not supposed to be an all out sprint but several hundred people wanting to take the lead pushed each other to treat the first mile as if it was the last mile of the race. This caused several runners to fall out of the competition with severe side aches while the remainder slowed to a crawl allowing the larger pack to pass them.
Some of the runners, drenched with perspiration passed a beautiful shady park where the sprinklers were busy watering the rich green grass. Overcome with heat and exhaustion they left the race and cooled themselves under the protection of a grove of large maple trees.
Nearing the halfway marker the race route passed several open air restaurants that were busy serving their customers lunch. The aromas of pasta sauce, peppered steak and roasted lamb poured out of the kitchen luring many of the contestants to drop out of the race for a place at one of the outside tables.
Runner number 1047 had stayed in the middle of the group at a medium jog and had felt better and better as each mile marker began to fly by. She had prepared for the race, even running this same route just last week where she finished the entire twenty-six miles in record time. As several hours passed the lead group crossed the halfway point with a total of 500 runners remaining in the race. They were spread out over seven miles with only seventy-five runners in a position and competing for first, second or third place.
Robert was watching the clock as his work day neared the end. It had been a tough day at the Prairie Homes where Robert worked as a customer service representative. Robert was a young talented college graduate who had many new ideas that would have changed the way money was being squandered. If only the construction side had listened to his advice to have taken a little more time and built their homes right the first time they could have saved Prairie Homes millions of dollars in wasteful repairs.
After many months of being ignored at his job, Robert had lost his drive to persevere as he was given many impossible tasks as part of an ever growing work load. He left the compound that day overcome with anger and had not kept his eyes on the road ahead of him. He hadn’t seen the traffic come to a complete stop and plowed full speed into the back of a fully loaded tractor trailer. Robert died instantly at the scene as his smart car went completely under the rear end of a fully loaded tractor-trailer.
How important it is for all of us to keep our eyes on the finish line and not let up. We face so many trials and distractions that often times we get sidelined and are no longer of any use to God. Even daily distractions can take us out of the race where we are too busy with jobs, projects or stress to focus on things that are eternal.
If you agree that we are in a spiritual battle then it is so important to know what our enemy’s strategy is as we battle his legions through our daily routines. His strategy, since he can’t capture your soul, is to “bench” you by taking you out of the game, battle or the race that we are running.
When we live a life characterized by sin it ultimately leads to death. Sin begins as a thought in our minds and if allowed to grow will mature into an action that will take us out or disqualify us from the race.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.”