Finish Your Race

By Janis Moore |  March 12, 2016

Recently Chrisma’s own Deacon, Mark Johnson ran a 2,031 mile race on a snow machine in the 2016 Iron Dog Competition, known as the world’s longest toughest snowmobile race. Remote and rugged terrain in harsh winter conditions demand essential survival skills, along with knowing your machine inside and out and being prepared for break downs, spills, and possible injuries. With exhausting physical demands, comes patience, perseverance and sheer determination.
 The athlete’s experiences brought to mind the words that were written for the believer in Hebrews 12: 1,2  “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and set down at the right hand of God.”
The race demands that we “lay aside every weight”, or you could say “everything that hinders” our relationship with Christ. The race is “set before us” and it is God who established it. Jesus perfectly finished the race and He is the focus of our lives. We run for Christ and we stay the course in spite of trials and persecutions, counting it all joy when we fix our eyes on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith.”.
This race we are in is called “The Christian Life.” Throughout this life on earth the Christian is called to stay the course and remain faithful to the end. Near the end of the Apostle Paul’s life, he said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) 
The athlete trains daily. He knows the rules of the race, so should the Christian train for their race. The word of God is our rule book that guides us to the finish line. If Mark and his team mate, Todd had not trained, but only read the rule book, they would not have been able to finish the race. They may have gotten part way, but that rugged and grueling trail would have gotten the best of them. What they experienced in their diligent training and practice, prepared them to be qualified for the “big race.”
The two- man team known as “Team Bald Eagles” experienced enormous challenges and setbacks that could have caused many to give up. But in spite of snow machine parts breaking, injuries, and all kinds of other obstacles, they stayed the course. Their faith, perseverance and determination led them to the finish line, 2,031 miles away from home!