The Race

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by Pastor Andy Thompson

“Let us Run with Perseverance the Race marked out for us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, that Author and Perfecter of our Faith…”

During the Olympics games, I often find myself fascinated at the dedication of the athletes involved. To be committed, body, mind, and soul, to an endeavor that happens every four years, is truly admirable. What is even more impressive, is the fact that very few of the events are team oriented. When someone wins Gold in the Olympics, most of the time, they accomplished that without assistance from anyone else, when they take the podium, they stand there alone. They may experience National pride, but to win the Gold, they may have had to defeat someone from their own country.

Perhaps I am so impressed because I grew up playing Team sports. I played football and basketball, played both sports in High School, and then played basketball a few years in college. In my competitive sports experiences, when I won, I always had teammates to share in the glory. It was never “I won” but rather “we won”. And when I lost I had teammates to share in the disappointment, there was enough blame to go around, I did not have to shoulder all of it. We won together, and we lost together, and we were determined to stick together, regardless of the outcome.

But when that Runner lines up for their Race, it is him against the World, her against the clock. When that Swimmer leaps off the platform, and hits that water, it is her against the world, him alone, against the clock.

Do you feel that way as a Pastor, in the Ministry? Sometimes this can be a lonely job, you can feel like you are in it all by yourself. You feel as if you have no one to turn to, you must depend on you, put your head down and swim, don’t look around, run your race. It is You against the clock, a race against how much time you have left. You wonder if you will ever reach your potential, and you are not sure if anyone understands. The Work is never ending, even when you are on vacation, you wonder how it went, how was the attendance, how was the offering? You eat, sleep, Breathe the Ministry, especially since your own personal financial existence is in some way tied into your Success

Ever feel that way?

Sometimes I do, but then…

I Remember…

This is a Race, but I am not running it alone, You are not running it alone. It is not Your Race alone to run, this is a Relay Race.

Jesus is the Author, He ran the first leg, and handed the Baton of Faith to the Apostles, and throughout the generations it has been handed to you. You are running your leg of the Race, but this is not your Race, it is His Race. Jesus Said, “On this Rock, I will build MY Church”; it is His church. We have to rest in the knowledge that He knows what He is doing, His Word will not return unto Him void, but will accomplish what He sent it to do. He began the Work, and He is faithful to complete it. He is the Great Shepherd, and He knows what He is doing. He knows the place you live, where you Pastor, who is in your church, who should be, and who should not be. He knows your name, He knows what He has called you to do, AND He knows what the Enemy is trying to do. And He is not moved. He is God, He is the Christ, He is the Anointed One.

And He is going to Run the Anchor Leg, He is the Author and the Finisher, the Perfecter of the Faith. So even when you wonder if your faith is enough, you don’t have to worry, no matter how far behind you feel you have fallen, once you hand the Baton off to Jesus, He will make it up. In the End, We Win.

AND

Remember…

You are not Alone; we are in this race together, all of us, Pastors, Ministers around the World. We may not know each other’s names; we may be different ages, Nationalities, Races, Colors, Denominations. But we are in this thing together, I am right there with you. God only has one church, the Universal body of Christ. When I pray for my church, I am praying for you and your church. When I win, you win, and when you win, I win. When my church grows, so does yours, we are on the same team.

You are not alone!

You are on a Team!

It is called Kingdom!

And in the End, We ALL WIN!