“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
(2 Timothy 4:7 ESV)
Photo courtesy of Bill Brine
May 1, 2021 is the scheduled date of the next Kentucky Derby. My husband and I usually watch this famous horse race. A couple of years ago as I was watching, it occurred to me that an awful lot of time and money is spent on getting these animals ready to race. It costs over $51,000 to enter the race. According to a 2014 survey, the yearly average maintenance on a racing horse is about $45,000 a year. The cost of purchasing a race horse is between the low six to low seven figures in dollars. That’s a lot of money to spend on a two minute race, where only one horse will be the winner.
In many ways this cycle is sad, because the thrill of winning and the resulting fortune only lasts a while. The high from the win can quickly become a low, especially if you lose the next race. The flowers on the winner’s wreath fade. The prize money gets spent, and eventually the horses are put out to pasture, old and has been.
Human athletes suffer the same cycles, too. They strive to become the best, and, if they are lucky, they may achieve that status for a while. But, like the winning race horse, the thrill of the win and their abilities eventually fade. And they are left with memories, medals and trophies, and bodies that can no longer do what they did in their youth.
Even those of us who are not athletes will see the same fate befall us and the successes we achieved. Time is not kind to us. The excitement from our achievements fades over time. Our earthly bodies wear out, whether we are athletes or not. Heaven knows I can attest to that, as I’m sure many of you can, too.
I’m glad that, unlike the horses that run their races and then decline, when my race on earth is done I will be claiming a prize that never fades. God’s Word assures me, and you, of this in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (ESV)
I believe an eternal prize that never fades beats a temporary one any day. Jesus paid our entry fee. He made all the sacrifices necessary to ensure we all can win. All we need do is give the Lord our love, devotion, and obedience. How hard is it to love a Father who loved us before we were even born? Running the race He set before us is, in my opinion, something worth striving toward.
What about you? Are you running the race of good faith?
Running the Race (© Catherine Hershberger 5/14/18)
About the Author:
Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.