I realized that I do my best when I have a goal. I think we all do. In fact, I think what keeps people strong when they are going through the hardest of times is when they think "Heaven is my goal". Keeping our eyes on the prize is something I have heard my entire life but what is the prize? As I sit here, in my "place", Starbucks, I have been thinking about goals and the ones I have made for myself. I am actually researching how to go from an okay walker to a finisher of a half marathon in 193 days. I am not certain how it is going to happen or how I am going to train for it but I already see myself crossing the finish line. I have pictured it all as I have thought about it and I know it is a real place. I am fully aware that other people have been there. I have read about what it is like and I can feel it in my soul as I think about it. The reality, I have never crossed the finish line of a half marathon. I know that to get there, I am going to have to make a daily choice to think about it and to act as if I am going to cross that finish line. I don't need to say I am a runner, I need to become one. I will have to push myself to be more than I ever thought possible. I am going to get blisters, bruises, and burns as I train, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will cross that finish line on October 29, 2011.
What about my spiritual finish line? What do I choose to do each day that causes me to focus on that finish line? Do I think that I can live as a lazy Christian and feel like I have run the race that was set before me? Will I train daily regardless of how I feel? Will I act Christlike or will I be Christlike?
Funny, I have volunteered for many athletic events and I have watched as many people cross the finish line. Many of them have a look of thankfulness, others have a look of exhaustion, and some have a look of surprise that they made it. At these events I help, I watch, and I encourage, but I am not a participant. I leave the events tired and with a t-shirt that says I was there. I do not leave the event as a successful participant though. People who see me wearing my t-shirts would assume that I participated. I do not want my Christian life to be this way. I don't want to look like a Christian and not participate in all that the Lord has for me to do here in the race of life. I want to cross that glorious finish line with total thankfulness and even exhaustion but not surprise. I want to hear "Well done Jamie!"
"Therefore, 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"