Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air.
-1 Corinthians 9:26
The Apostle Paul often used athletic imagery to represent the Christian life. In the passage above, he uses the figure of boxing, not aimlessly beating the air, but disciplining his own body in serving Christ. At the end of his life, looking back over 30 years of labor as an apostle, Paul again uses symbolic language as he charges Timothy to fulfill his ministry. Like an athlete who had engaged successfully in a contest, he spoke of having "fought the good fight," that he "finished the course," and "kept the faith." Paul ran his race with conviction and purpose.
While I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, I do believe that the start of any new season is a great opportunity for personal reflection and reevaluation. Most any time is a good time to stop and assess things, and it's prudent to regularly ask oneself, "Where am I heading?" Am I racing ahead to nowhere?
God did not create us to lead aimless lives. We were created to bring God glory. God gave each of us gifts and abilities to fulfill our life's purpose. We can glorify God in many different ways - through our work, our family, our churches, our hobbies, our friends. When we bring glory to God in the Christ-like example we model to others, in whatever way God has gifted us, then we will truly feel we are running with purpose.
Prayer for Today
Creator God, I'm your child. Help me to know your purpose for my life. Hold my hand while I run this race, yes, my Lord! Guide my feet that I might run not without aim, for I don't want to run this race in vain! Stand by me and help me to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Amen.