Life is a Marathon, not a Sprint- Part 2

MARATHON: a long-distance running race

SPRINT: a short-distance race requiring participants to go at top speed

Marathon racers must build endurance before they can successfully complete their long, arduous journey. They must learn to run at a sustainable pace; because of the distance they need to cover, they must not attempt to run at top pace for the entire race. In fact, short periods of “recovery” jogs and walking to preserve muscles and energy will be necessary; and if Marathon runners intend to win, they must be willing to put in the time and effort to properly equip and prepare themselves before they enter the race.

In a similar fashion, believers must be willing to prepare diligently for, as the Apostle Paul called it, the “race” of life. He did not mean a “sprint”, whereby one would be able to quickly complete the process of sanctification. No, Paul meant a “marathon” throughout which a steady growth in spiritual maturity—Christ-likeness—would be achieved by faith empowered by the Holy Spirit and made possible through God’s grace.

As followers of Christ, we must remember to prepare to enter this race by strengthening our spiritual muscles with: Bible study/meditation, prayer, fellowship, and sound Biblical teaching. This is achieved by listening and submitting to the Holy Spirit concerning all these things—or any other instruction and council He provides along the way. But it is also vital that we remember to renew our strength in the Lord with periods of refreshment, much like marathon participants who intersperse restorative periods of jogging and walking as they endeavor to finish their race (Acts 3:19 & Romans 12:2).

As we complete our race of earthly life, we will be able to declare with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith…” (2 Timothy 4:7).