Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Tale of a Race . . .

Three men find out about a marathon they can enter, and all three feel they should enter it. Two men are very well off, very physically fit, and have tremendous resources at their disposal. The third is crippled and poor.

The first two men use their gym membership to the fullest. They train daily, they keep charts of their progress, they buy organic food and eat very healthy, etc. The third, the man crippled and poor, trains as best as he can within his limitations, and eats as best as he can within his financial boundaries.

On race day they all line up amidst a multitude of other people entering the race and spectators. The starting gun goes off.

The first of the two men with everything on their side runs with all he has. He focuses on the finish line and leaves nothing on the course. He pours it all out and crosses the finish line exhausted, having used every muscle and benefit of training and healthy cell in his body to do so, and having let no spectators or tiredness deter him from his focus. He collapses to the ground and from the ground he looks up and sees his time. It is a new record!

The second of the two men with everything on their side jogs along comfortably. He flexes his muscles to the crowd now and then and beams at their oohhs and aahhs. He is so physically fit and has been able to treat his body so well, that he has no problem finishing the race at a relaxed jog, in the middle of the pack, not really having pushed himself and still having a lot in the tank.

The third man—the one crippled and without a lot of resources to draw on—limps along. The bulk of the crowd leaves him far behind. But he pushes with all he has and gives it everything. He, too, leaves nothing behind, though his body is weak with out the nutrients it should have. He strains his body, he endures the pain, he keeps his mind and heart focused on the finish line. He finally crosses the line and he too collapses. He is near the back of the pack, and his time is no record, but he knows he held nothing back and left nothing behind.

Of these three men, which one or ones do you think crossed the finish line with joy, knowing he'd run the best race he could with what he was given?

Of these three men, which one or ones do you think had the sponsor of the race and those waiting at the finish line say, "Well done, you ran the race, you finished the course, you poured it all out, we are proud of you"?


  1. My answer is the first and last. This verse came to mind: Encouraging. 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

    1. Danny, I agree. That was my thought as I wrote it. Some of us are very blessed with tons of resources, others don't have them, but the parable of the talents is really on my heart—what are we doing with what we have, and how will our life and choices and priorities look in light of eternity and God's commands? Thanks for reading and sharing.

    2. And, Danny, adding, I wrote this for me first and foremost as I am examining a lot about my life and walk. I want to run the race well and leave nothing behind and yet the world lures so strongly hold back, be comfortable, avoid the cost. Thanks for your encouragement in the race. I love ya and your family!


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