When the idea of a modern olympics became a reality at the end of the 19th century, the initiators and organizers were looking for a great popularizing event, recalling the ancient glory of Greece. The idea of organizing a marathon race came from Michel Breal, who wanted the event to feature in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. This idea was heavily supported by Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, as well as the Greeks. The Greeks staged a selection race for the Olympic marathon on March 10, 1896 that was won by Charilaos Vasilakos in 3 hours and 18 minutes (with the future winner of the introductory Olympic Games marathon coming in fifth). The winner of the first Olympic Marathon, on April 10, 1896 (a male-only race), was Spiridon "Spiros" Louis, a Greek water-carrier. He won at the Olympics in 2 hours 58 minutes and 50 seconds.
It caught my attention that the winner of the first marathon in 1896 was a water carrier.Today the water carriers for a marathon ride in a car and meet the runner at certain checkpoints. If the first water carriers would have rode i do not believe they would have the stamina to win a marathon, and possibly not even finish it.
In order to endure the trial, there has to be some sort af training that first takes place. The runners did not wake up one day and just decide they would run twenty-five miles after breakfast. There was alot of training and hard work that took place. There were many hours of sweat and hard work put into the job before the job was ever attempted. If that first olympic marathon winner would have sat in the back of a truck and handed the runners their water he would have been in no shape to endure such a task. People that enter in a marathon these days, sometimes do not enter to win. They make it a personal goal just to finish. It is something they want to acheive and to persevere to the end. Today people have been known to finish even after the race has been called to an end. That takes commitment, and dedication. To know you are not going to win, but run anyway, that is devotion.
The same thing goes for saints of god. You do not have to be the first one to heaven, you just have to make it. However, you do have a choice on the things you do to get there. I dont want to just ride the church pew, I want to run. I want to do all I can for the benefit of the kingdom. 1 cor 9:24 says "Every man that runs in a race runs, but only one will receive the prize, so run that you may receive it." That is speaking in worldly race point of view, but a spiritual application.We do need to run as if we are winning.The point is to not give up. Heb 12:1 says "Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which so easily does beset us, and run with patience the race that is set before us." This is speaking more on spiritual terms. God has given us a job to do. We are supposed to do it with all our might. We are sopposed to give it our all. 2 Tim 4 says (in a nutshell) God is going to be our judge.We are to preach the word. Be instant in season, and out of season.Reprove, rebuke, and exort with all longsuffering and doctrine. Endure afflictions, do the work of evangelists, make full proof of the ministry." It says to hold out till the end.2 tim 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
We have to be training to reach our goal. If we just sit and watch everything as it happens, the devil is going to do everything he can to beat us. We have to train for the race. We train by knowing the word of god, by prayer, by fasting, and knowing gods will on our lives. We are supposed to be reaching the world with his gospel. We are supposed to be casting the net. If we dont try to get closer to God, we will never get there. If we can sit in front of a t.v. for hours at a time, why do we have so much trouble spending time on our knees talking to the God that has given his life for us?
The superbowl is coming up in less than a week, how many people will sit and spend there whole day watching it, and not once think about the greatness, and the mercy of God? There will be thousands of people spending time, money and energy on that game that wont even be there. People are going to be jumping and shouting and giving their body a work out over something that has not ever given them anything. Please dont think i am against football. I love football just as much as the next guy, but I dont owe it anything.
It does not stop there. How about racing? I have racecars of my own. please dont think i am trying to put down every past time, or hobby in the world. I just feel that sometimes we let our priorities get a little backwards. How much time and effort is spent in getting a car ready to race? You can spend hours on top of hours in the shop. For what? Money? Bragging rights? The bible says, "What good is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul?"
I think we need to be getting in shape for the race. We can not get spiritually lazy. If we are to make it to the end, we have to be able to endure. We have to be able to persevere. Lets be what God wants us to be. Lets have some commitment. Lets have some dedication. Lets have some thanks for the one who made it all possible. Lets get our priorities in order. LETS BE RUNNERS AND NOT RIDERS.
And by the way. We are not running alone. We have friends, brothers, and sister running the same race. team up with some of them. You may be surprised how helpful they are when you think you have gone as far as you can. And dont let your pastor run alone. CARRY HIS WATER, because your race has already begun, and you are just in training. Do all things as if your salvation depends on it. It does.So RUN RUN RUN!!!
JUST A SERVANT