You Have A Race to Run

By: Waylon Bailey

One day when Jake, my grandson, was four years old we played “The Game of Life.” Somewhere during the game he said, “Doc, what is life?

How do you explain “life” to a four year old? After giving it some thought, I think I said, “Life is all the things we do – – like driving, being at home, going to work, or going to school.”

I’m not sure that’s a good definition, but it seemed to satisfy him.

Whether four or forty, life is hard to explain.

Shakespeare had one of his characters say that “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player . . . It is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Macbeth).

Hopefully, you won’t have such a cynical view of life.

The Bible describes life as a race, a race that has to be run.

As I see this race, the Christian has a three part aspect of life.


First, there is that point in time when we took our stand and committed our lives to Jesus Christ. It is the starting line of the race.

This is “justification.” It is our being declared “not guilty” because of the blood of Jesus shed for us.

Paul described this when he told about the work of Christ: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Second, life for the Christian is a race to be run and a life to be lived as we worship, serve, and follow the Lord Jesus.

This is called “sanctification.” It is growing in Christ and becoming more like Him. This is not an event or a point. It is a process by which we are more and more conformed to the image of Christ.

This process makes up most of the race. It calls for diligence and perseverance. It must be run to the very end.

Third, the race for the Christian involves a finish line, the time when we will receive our reward. This is known as “glorification,” when we will receive our glorified bodies.

Paul summed up this race in this way: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store 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 longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4: 7–8).

Run the race with perseverance.

Have a great week!