The Wrong Race

I returned and saw under the sun that—The RACE is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. – Ecclesiastes 9:11 NKJV.  

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish MY RACE with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. – Acts 20:22-24 NKJV.  

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the RACE, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV.  

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and LET US RUN with endurance the RACE that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1 NKJV.  

LeeAdianez Rodriguez, 12-years-old, intended to run in the Rochester Wegman’s Family 5K marathon. Her mother dropped her off, because she was late, and she rushed to join the other runners at the Broad Street Bridge. There were more than two thousand runners that took part in that marathon. However, there was a problem. LeeAdianez was unknowingly running in the half-marathon of 13.1 miles; the 5K she was registered to run in started 15 minutes after the half-marathon. Two hours and 43 minutes later she completed the hilly course to the relief of her mother. While LeeAdianez was running, her mother was going crazy trying to find her daughter after she was not among the runners completing the shorter 5K. Officials finally spotted the girl in the longer marathon, spoke with her, and she just wanted to finish the race at that point. Her mother said, “She gave me a really big scare. It was such a scary moment, but rewarding for her in the end. I don’t even know how she did it. I’m so proud of her.” LeeAdianez finished 1,885th of 2,111 of those participating in the half-marathon. (Yahoo 04.26.16; Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 04.17.16)  

It can be a shock; to find out what you thought you were doing right was actually doing something wrong. Have you ever studied the wrong material for a test? I have. Have you ever put together a shelving unit or a filing cabinet or some other project, and at the end realized you left out a critical step; then, you had to redo the whole thing? I have. Have you ever arrived for a doctor’s appointment or some other appointment only to find out you arrived on the wrong day or the wrong hour? I have. In our human condition we often think we are right when we are wrong. We make mistakes.  

Life is pictured as a race in the Bible. We are racing through life to the finish line of death, or as Paul put it, the time of our departure. The apostle Paul was running his race with joy even though he knew from the testimony of the Holy Spirit to his heart that there were some hills and mountains he would have to run through. Paul knew he was in the right race, on the right course, on track to finish at the right time. What about you? Are you in the right race? Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Are you living your life for Him? When you finish your race, will you find out you’ve been running the wrong one? What a horrible shock that would be! If you need a course correction, NOW is the time to make it!

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