“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” — 1 Corinthians 9:24
Keep Running The Mile You’re In
I recently finished reading a fascinating book titled, “Run The Mile You’re In.” It’s written by Ryan Hall, who was one of the best-ever marathoners from the United States until his retirement a few years back. Ryan competed in multiple Olympic Games and was a threat in most marathon races he competed in. But Ryan is perhaps better known by the fact that he was extremely outspoken about his Christian faith and often brought that to light when asked about his running career.
The book was an interesting read as Hall weaves together his story around various principles of the Christian faith and lessons he learned in competition over the course of his career. Lessons like how to be humble, how to discover your purpose, how to find your identity in who God created you to be, how to Biblically define success, how to press through pain, how to be fearless, how to love, and so many other things. But the lesson that struck me the most wasn’t within the pages of the book. It was simply the title: run the mile you’re in.
The Bible often describes the Christian life as a race we are running. It encourages us to run and obtain the prize ahead of us, which is eternal life (1 Corinthians 9:24); it speaks of running with purpose and disciplining yourself so that you are not disqualified from the race toward Heaven (1 Corinthians 9;26-27); it talks of how we must ensure that we do not run our race in vain (Galatians 2:2); and, of course, there is the famous passage in Hebrews 12 where the Apostle Paul describes the need for us to set Christ always before us and to take heart from the example of those who have run ahead of us so that we do not grow weary and lose heart as we run our own race (Hebrews 12:1-3).
We are all somewhere along the race course of life with eternity as our end goal. Some are closer to the finish line, others are someplace in the middle, and some are just starting to run their race and have a long ways to go. And we are each in different miles along the way — some have fresh legs and plenty of bounce left in them, while others have hit the infamous “wall” and can barely move. But wherever we are in the race, we are not running it alone.
Whether the mile you’re in is one of pain or blessing, one of despair or hope, one of joy or sorrow, one of prosperity or need, one of success or failure, the mile you’re in is all you’ve got to work with. The past miles are behind you, and the future miles are yet to come. So embrace the mile you are currently in, however challenging, and know that with grace-breathed endurance, your reward at the end will be worth it.
— Katherine Singer
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