Have you been watching the Olympics? In many of the track and field, as well as in the swimming races , the athletes line up at the start. They have been training for this moment for years. The world watches in anticipation, ready to cheer them on. They are ready. But they have to stay steady, and wait until they hear the sound that says, “go”. If they jump the gun, they will be penalized, lose points or be disqualified, depending on the rules. It takes focus and patience to wait as you get on your mark, get set and then . . . wait for the “go”.
At times, doesn’t our Christian walk feel like that? We know Christ has been training us for His glory. We feel we are ready to do what lies ahead. But we are stuck at steady, waiting for Him to say “go”. If we leap ahead, it can be disastrous because it is not in His timing.
Yet, on the sidelines are people who love us, have been praying for us, supporting us and cheering us on. Just like in the Olympics, they wait with us and watch. And the time between steady and go can seem like an eternity. Doubt may even begin to creep into the edges of our faith, and theirs.
Paul wrote to the Hebrews 12:1– 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.
When we are in the race to save lives for Christ, we must not let doubt cloud our readiness. We have to remember whose strength we can rely on to fuel us. And we must wait on His timing.
Are you ready? Can you wait and stay steady in your faith until Christ who has begun a good work in you calls you forward? Sometimes the waiting take more strength and discipline than the actual race. Paul tells them to stay fixed on Jesus. When we do that, we see the goal ahead is serving Him, not ourselves.
Once the race begins, a lot can happen. We can trip and fall, lag behind, and feel we don’t have any more inside us to push on – until our second wind kicks in. In the Christian life, that second wind is Spirit filled and it comes just when we need it the most.
In their song, Stay Strong, the Newsboys tell us to fix our eyes ahead, and that you and I run for the prize that lies ahead. They sing to get up – that this race can be won.
In the Olympics that prize for each competitor is a chance to represent their country proudly and hopefully bring home the gold. For the Christian, it is being Christ’s hands and feet, and streets of gold He has prepared for His good and faithful. And you know what? Each of us, who choose God’s race, wins.
Ready? Steady – stay strong. He will tell you when to go.