Keep Running the Race!
This morning I wondered how many people were unable to finish the Boston Marathon due to the explosions close to the finish line. How many people were unable to get up and face work or their daily routine because our lives were interrupted yet again by evil and terror? How many of us are tempted to quit, stop short and give up when faced with enemies, adversaries, sickness, death, painful memories or fearful experiences? Paul faced all of this after accepting God's call to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. He knew persecution, betrayal, criticism, fear, beatings, imprisonment and trials on a regular basis. Yet he continued on with the good fight. He kept the faith and finished his course. (2 Timothy 4: 7) I am convinced that he had numerous mornings when he wanted to give up and just let the world go to hell. I am sure he ran out of patience with people and even questioned God's will and ways.
Yet Paul persevered. How? He kept his focus on following Christ and trusting in the Lord. I know many people are angry this morning and want retribution on whoever set off the bombs in Boston. We want a quick fix to the problem of evil and human pain. We are afraid of what the future may bring and need a a strong dose of hope to keep up this fight for the faith and to complete our life mission.
That's why I say look to Paul's example. He trusted in God's love and guidance. He knew the best was still to come in the Kingdom of God. He counted on the truth that in our world of evil and pain, God was still active, present and in charge. We can join our voices together in the Lord's Prayer: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."
To all those who plan to run the London Marathon on Sunday, I say, run the race! To all who want to continue the race of faith today, I say, run with Christ who is at your side. To all who are tempted to give up or stay home in fear, I say, do not give into the voices of resignation and despair.
Fight the good fight. Complete the race. Keep the faith. A crown awaits you more glorious than anything this world can offer. You can count on it!