“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
A few weekends ago we participated in the Dream Center 5k. Fifteen students lined up at the starting line ready to run like the wind. “Ms. Gabby, do I get a prize if I win?” This is what they desired, to wear a shiny medal around their neck to show off their accomplishment. The sun brightened up the sky, highlighting the smiles on their faces as their energy began to boil up. 5…4….3….2…1… and they were off! The students were weaving their way in and out of the other runners.
The start was great, but soon students were beginning to slow down. Their energy was depleting by the second.
There was one student, Serinity, who is an elementary school student at McGruder. She was blowing my mind with how much stamina she had, but she began to slow down to the point where she looked up at me and told me she could not keep going, she wanted to quit. I challenged her to keep going, but my encouragement was not really going anywhere. I asked if she loved the game, red light green light. Her eyes lit up and I told her she was in control,
red meaning stop to take a breath, yellow meaning walk, and green telling us to run as fast as we could. She loved the idea so we played until we crossed the finish line. Serinity flew through the finish line, arms stretched out on each side like an eagle.
I love to think how God is our encourager in situations when we want to give up. He does not ask us to sprint through life. He is always there walking, running, or sitting down with us. “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:4
He is the good shepherd and will lead us into victory when we rely on his voice for direction. At the end of the race, Serinity did not ask whether or not she won, instead she enthusiasticallysmiled at her own victory because she crossed the finish line. The true prize is not something she wears around her neck, but something she carries in her heart. It’s the victory that lives within us and his name is Jesus.