Running is a discipline. We wake up in the early hours of the day to get that long run in. Move our work schedule around, or sacrifice leisure time to stick to that training schedule. We will fill our bodies up with the needed fuel. And train our muscles to endure. All of this leads to one thing, the goal of reaching the finish line.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
With running, there is one winner. But in Christ, we are all winners.
How disciplined are we in our walk, or rather, run with Christ? The good news is that we have a helper within us to aid us along the way. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. (1 Timothy 1:7). We have the power within us for self discipline.
Self discipline to spend time with God’s word every day. Self discipline to spend time with God in prayer every day. Self discipline to follow the commandments of Christ to love one another every day. Self discipline to spread the good news of the gospel every day. Self discipline to be resolved on whose we are every day. Self discipline to fight temptation every day.
I know that I fail at many of these things every day. But those failures will not hold me back from this journey to the finish line, to the arms of Christ in heaven. I pray that every day I can pick up my cross, and be disciplined in my run with Christ.