I recently got back from a camping trip; my guy-friends and I snowshoed up to a backcountry cabin near Lake Tahoe. It took us four hours to make it up to the mountain cabin with all our gear and supplies.
It was a brutal task that tested us both physically and mentally. There were several times when I thought to myself, “why did I agree to this?” I could be spending my time doing so many other things. Perhaps we could just turn around and stay in a nice hotel with room service and a Jacuzzi. But once I made it top, the spectacular view was worth the effort. The amazing view, beautiful scenery, and clean air were just remarkable. I ended up having such a great time with the guys on this trip that it made well worth all the painful effort on the way up.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Striving for a Crown
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Similarly, the Lord has a personal race for all of us to run. The prize is worth all the effort, discipline, and hard work that it takes to finish. Let’s remind ourselves what the view from the top will look like and keep our eyes focused on the prize. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.