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Running the race



I have never had an overwhelming desire to run in a marathon. Some of you are motivated to do so and I congratulate you for that. I think it is wonderful. I have watched people on Good Morning America after the New York Marathon, and they interviewed a man in his 90's who ran and finished the race. I think dear Lord; I can't make the race down to the end of the block! And here is this man almost one-hundred, and he made it through the entire race.

I am not a fan of cycling, but I think the whole world is interested in seven time champion Lance Armstrong, and his pursuit to ride into Paris as the winner of "Tour de France". This will be his last race in competition as he is considered an old man in his sport, although his is only thirty-three.

DISTRACTIONS
There is a race we are all involved in; it is the race of life. The apostle Paul says, "Let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back" (Heb. 12:1). It is not important how we begin the race as it is how we finish the race. We all have our lane to run in, and it is important that we are not distracted. For some, past hurts slow them down. For some it is the pursuit of pleasure or possessions. Some are holding on to guilt and grudges or past failures. Those things are distractions and the Bible says, get rid of them. Philippians 3:13 says,"Put them behind you."

CONDITIONED
Lance Armstrong has conditioned his physical body for the "Tour de France". He has also prepared for the draining that comes emotionally. The same is necessary for our race in life. We must be conditioned (renew our self daily). For this reason we do not become discouraged because our spiritual being is renewed day by day. Paul also says when we get tired and weary, the inward person, that from which we get our motivation, our strength, our power, and our ability is renewed every single day. Even the Energizer Bunny has to get new batteries!

There are three kinds of motivation for life. There is internal motivation where we take the responsibility to motivate our self. Many are self-starters. Others need external motivation. We need others to motivate and encourage us. Then there is the eternal motivation. We keep our eyes on the goal before us because one day we will stand before Jesus.

RESIST DISCOURAGEMENT
Winston Churchill said to a group of young men during World War II when he went to Herod's College to address the nation. When he came to the podium he said, "Never, never, never, never give up." That was his message. The message for us is to never, never give up. Don't ever give up on yourself, your friends, and don't give up on your purpose in life. Keep your eyes fixed on the goal and rely on God's power and renew yourself daily.