April 26, 2011
By Ryan Duncan, TheFish.com Editor
For I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith - 2 Timothy 4:7
On April 2nd, my home city of Richmond held its annual 10k run through the historic Monument Avenue. Thousands of people turned out to join the race, while others crowded the sidelines to wave sighs, shout encouragement, or play music for the passing runners. As for me, I found myself somewhere in the middle of the moving heard, running at a steady jog. Initially, I had been unsure about joining the 10k. Sure, I enjoyed jogging every now and then, but a 10k was completely different.
This race would be fun, but it would also be hard. That thought followed me all morning as I lined up in my starting position. I began having visions of my lifeless body sprawled across Monument Avenue, trampled to death by Olympic sprinters and power-walking grandmothers alike. The buzzer sounded and we took off, and for the first mile or so everybody was ok. Soon enough though, all that running began to sink in.
I started passing people who had slowed to a walk, while a few individuals stopped off for momentary breaks on the side of the road. To be honest, there were times I was close to joining them. So why didn’t I? Because I wasn’t running alone. I ended up running the 10k with a co-worker of mine named Marvin, and throughout the race we helped each other keep pace. Having a friend by you is always great because when things get tough, they’ll encourage you, and you’re able to do the same for them. In the end, I finished the race in fifty-eight minutes, a personal best for me.
Paul often compared the Christian life to a race, and I can see why. The Christian life is not easy, sometimes there are moments when you’re so tired you just was to give up. Sometimes there are moments when you want to compromise, just a little bit, because it would make things easier. Sometimes you’re not sure you have the strength to go another mile. I believe that is why God created the Church, because when someone is running beside you, you somehow find the strength to keep going.
The problem is, we Christians often try to go it alone. Maybe we are ashamed of the baggage we’re carrying or maybe we don’t want to appear weak. Whatever the reason, we keep people at arm’s length and try to power on alone, taking everything with our own strength, but it never works. That’s because the whole point of the Christian faith is that we can’t win by ourselves. We can only reach salvation through the grace of Christ, and we can only hope to live the Christian life by helping each other. So don’t be afraid to ask for help, we were never meant to finish the race alone.
Intersecting Faith and Life
Is there anything troubling you that you need help with? Reach out to someone in your Church or small group and ask for their help. Has someone come to you with a personal problem? Don’t turn your back on them just because it makes you uncomfortable.
2 Thessalonians 3:5