Running the Race
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failing of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”1
Joni Eareckson Tada once told a story commenting on today’s key verse.
She wrote, "My husband, Ken, serves as a track-and-field coordinator for Special Olympics. There is always band music, colorful banners, and flags everywhere. Scattered across the infield are teams of young people with disabilities.
"A few years ago, at the games, Ken blew his whistle to signal the contestants for the 50-yard dash. A girl with Down’s Syndrome and a boy in baggy shorts were the first to line up (he also had Down’s Syndrome). There was a moment of stillness, then a bang from the starting gun. Off they sprinted - six contestants bobbing and weaving down the track.
"Suddenly the boy in baggy shorts began running toward his friends in the infield. Ken blew his whistle to direct him back to the track, but it was no use. At that point, the girl who had started the race by him, who was just a few yards from the finish line, turned around, ran toward him, and gave him a big hug. Together they got back on the track and completed the race arm-in-arm, long after the rest of the contestants had crossed the finish line."
Joni ended by saying, "We must run the race not to please ourselves, but to please the Lord. That often means taking time to stop and put our arms around a weaker friend who needs to get back on track. Have you watched a fellow believer get spiritually confused, and yet you’ve kept on going? Jesus doesn’t seem as preoccupied with 'winning' as we do. The important thing is how we run the race. And we are called to run it, bearing with the failings of those who are weak."
Suggested prayer: Dear God, use me to be your hands and feet in the lives of those around me. Help me stay grounded in You so that I may be an encouragement and help for others when needed. I want to run a race that will honor you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1. Romans 15:1-2 (NIV).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.