On July 2021, the Tokyo Olympics, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic, will start. This Olympics will still be unique because it will have no audience, but only the athletes, their coaches and officials. Even though that will be the situation, it will still be a race towards the finish line.
In the Bible, Paul used the metaphor of a race to describe our lives. Paul, of course, was very familiar with the ancient Olympic games. What can we learn from Paul?
First, we must finish the race that Jesus set for us.
According to Paul, the “title” of this race is “testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” This means that every day, we go about our lives with the intention of testifying about God’s grace in our lives.
When was the last time you shared how God was gracious to you? When was the last time you told someone or posted in social media that God is good, merciful and faithful to you?
When Paul left Ephesus, he said these words as recorded in Acts 20:24 — “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
Second, we must be prepared wholeheartedly to finish the race set by Jesus.
If we are not prepared emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, we cannot go on with life. In the same manner, strict spiritual training involves reading the Bible, praying, a lot of reflections, and worshipping God. These are all part of spiritual disciplines that we must continually practice.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
Third, we must endure until we finish the race set by Jesus.
Without endurance, we cannot fight the rigors of life. We need to have faith in God in order to go on.
Like Paul, let us finish this life with these words,” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Director, Office of Communications
Central Philippine University