July was a great month for me! I discovered all kinds of things about myself and wanted to share with you a bit of an epiphany I had yesterday. I was running in a friendly neighborhood 5K. About 4 kilometers in my body was shouting at me to stop. But I kept running (more like a slow jog really) and I thought about the verse in Corinthians that says, “all the runners in the race run, but only one gets the prize. Run in such a way as to get the prize.” The verse in Hebrews 12 that talks about running with endurance the race that is set before us also popped into my head.
I believe these verses are ultimately talking about spiritual things, but I also think they can be applied to the world of sports. As my website masthead says, Sports are a parable for life.
So as I am running, I asked myself what is the prize? And the answer is it’s the prize the Lord sets before us. And since each one of us is unique, I believe the prize is unique to each of us.
Sometimes the prize is actually winning the game or the race. For others it’s to erase self doubts and simply finish a marathon or triathlon. Track athletes often bubble over with excitement after setting a personal best, even though they’ve finished 5th or 6th in an event. Or it may be as simple as losing a game of basketball to your older brother or sister and not getting upset. Maybe you’ve struggled with jealousy or resentment – your prize is the ability to mature beyond that.
I think the key is discovering what the prize set before you is and then running after it with endurance. I just finished another Andy Andrews book, The Traveler’s Gift. In it he identifies 7 Decisions for Success. The 7th is Persist without exception. Another way to say that is don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.
So, figure out that prize and start running!