Imagine a race about to begin. The runners prepare themselves and begin to brace themselves against the starting blocks in order to push off into the race. It’s vitally important for them to brace themselves securely because often the rate at which they get out of the blocks determines the finishing order. The pistol fires, and the runners push off, leaving the starting blocks behind as they get down to the business of running.
Paul tells us that life is like a race. We aren’t meant to casually meander through our time on earth; instead, like a runner, we are meant to push forward – to strain ahead for the prize. It’s a race to win.
Here’s where it gets interesting, though. We tend to think of the gospel – that Jesus lived a perfect life, died a substitutionary death, and rose victoriously from the grave – as the blocks against which we place our feet. We are secure in that information, and because we are, it enables us to push off in order to run the race of the Christian life.
True enough, the gospel is our starting blocks. It is against these bedrock truths that we brace ourselves in order to move forward. But the illustration breaks down because in a race, the runner leaves the starting blocks behind. The Christian, however, never abandons the gospel.Photo credit: ©Unsplash/William Stitt