Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Life is a long-distance race not a sprint. There may be times when a particular set of circumstances require sprint like energy and focus, but life in Christ is a 24/7 long term commitment.
My daughter gave me a book for a Christmas present ‘The Man who cycled the world’. It was published in 2009 but is new to me. It recounts how Mark Beaumont cycled solo (not just alone but with no supporting cast as it were, from Paris back to Paris around the globe – a distance of 18,297 miles in 194 days and 17 hours. His journey took him across Europe to Turkey, then to Calcutta via Iran, Pakistan and India. Bankok to Singapore came next before he crossed Australia west to east, New Zealand south to north and then USA, with a final leg from Lisbon to Paris.
It is a fascinating account which required focus on the goal, a clear vision of what he set out to achieve and the commitment to averaging 100 miles per day come rain or shine.
(He subsequently cycled round the world in less than 79 days covering approximately 240 miles per day but this time with back-up!)
The thought of such a journey would frighten most of us even if we were years younger, but Mark had a goal and a drive to enter the record books.
The journey of the Christian life, surpasses that amazing cycle marathon in every way for the goal is eternal life in the presence of the God who gave his one and only Son so that that goal is attainable by all who put their trust in him.
Paul knew what it was to suffer hardship for the sake of Christ
I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
2 Corinthians 11.23-28
so his words carry great weight born as they are from real experience. Regardless of the hardship nothing could divert him from the goal of heaven, to win the prize promised to all who complete the course. In running he put the past behind him and focussed on what was ahead counting personal gain and success in the eyes of the world as rubbish (Philippians 3.8b) in comparison to knowing Christ.
As we consider each day ‘How we should live’, let us dwell on this Church Verse for 2022. Let its truth infuse every part of our beings. Let us, with the help of the Holy Spirit live transformed lives this coming year, lives which will, by the grace of God, bring transformation to others, making 2022 a truly memorable year for gospel in the ministry of CFC.
Remember we have a God who is sufficient for these things as we commit ourselves to live for his glory.
Blogs in 2022
Today’s Blog is the 365th that has appeared on this website, the series beginning on 1st January 2021. Others than myself have written and for this I am very grateful but I feel it is right to reduce their frequency in the coming year. I therefore plan to write twice a week with a devotional blog on Wednesday and a Christian reflection on an item from the week’s news on Saturday. I am grateful to those who have encouraged me in writing and rejoice that what has been written has been helpful. Please pray that God will use future writing for his glory.