“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)
In the 1981 British Film, Chariots of Fire, we are told the true story of two runners, Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, who competed in the 1924 Olympic Games. One of the most memorable scenes happens when Eric Liddell is running in the France-Scotland Competition. During the race he is pushed by another runner. He trips and falls as the runners continue running toward the finish line. But Liddell refuses to give up. So, he rises up to not only finish the race, but he overcomes the distance, the leaders, and wins the entire race.
Every day we wake to run the race marked out for us. There are moments when we fall. Sometimes we are pushed down, other times we trip and fall on our own. Often, when we fall, that’s when we are tempted to stay down believing we have lost the race. It’s in those moments that we are at Checkpoint 24. Galatians 5:7 says, “You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?”
That truth? You’re not down and out. The truth is, you’re down and ready to get up again. The truth is, not only is your race winnable … it is already won. Jesus crossed that finish line on the cross and into the winner’s circle when He emptied that grave. When you follow Jesus … you’re really running a victory lap.
So, take His hand, receive His victory … and run again. Your race is not only winnable … it is already won. The decision each of us face in those moments is whether or not we will rise up and run again.
Don’t give up, don’t give in … This is discipleship. Following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and committing to the mission of Jesus.
Lord, grant me Your strength when I fall during my race. Grant me Your mercy when I fail because I’m a sinful human being. Grant me Your love and let me get back up and into the race! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.