Devotional Readings

Finishing the Race

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7, NKJV.

For my fortieth birthday I wanted to prove that I wasn’t getting older but getting better! So I decided to do a marathon.

Preparation began a year before the big day. The first step was to find a book that told me how to safely train for a marathon. The second step was to start the training program, and the third step was to actually implement the training.

My brother, a veteran marathoner, sent me the book 4 Months to a 4-hour Marathon, by Dave Kuehls. I realized that my experience would be more like “10 Months to a six-hour Marathon,” but my goal was to finish not to break records.

I started walking five miles a day, four days a week. Then I increased a mile or two each week. Soon I was up to five to 10 miles a day, for five or six days a week. During this time I added running a mile for every two miles walked. Two months before the marathon I increased my long day to 15 to 18 miles. I was logging in 35 or more miles a week.

The day of the marathon I felt ready. I felt I had “fought the good fight” with a regular training schedule. I would soon find out if I could “finish the race”–all 26.2 miles of it!

At 7:30 a.m. I was off, running/walking in the cold, drizzly Seattle morning. I stopped and refueled at every aid station to keep up my energy. At mile 8, I joined another runner/walker novice marathoner and stayed with her the rest of the race. We encouraged each other and had a great time socializing. At mile 20, my knees started hurting, but I pressed on. After five hours and 45 minutes I limped over the finish line!

I didn’t make headline news or even have a crowd cheering for me, but I have a medal to prove I finished!

The Christian life is like running a marathon. You need to read the Bible for instruction, make a plan on how to live a Christian life, implement that plan, then finish the race and keep your faith–and your reward will be much greater than a medal!

What would you like to do to live a healthier lifestyle? Make a plan, work it, and celebrate when you’ve “finished your race.”

–Sandra Clay

from Fit Forever: One-A-Day Devotionals for Body, Mind, and Spirit
Kay Kuzma (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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