UCOG Blog Logo
News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 31, 2018

Visualizing the finish line

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

During her visit to the Dormagen congregation in September 2006, Mary Ann Miller (Bates) and I agreed that we would run the Bonn Marathon together in April 2007. As a teenager and young adult I had concentrated on the middle distances and in the years that followed I had run regularly over 2 to 7 km, but running a distance like 42 km would never have occurred to me. :-)

After the Feast of Tabernacles the training for the 42 km run started in earnest. With a book about training for a marathon run as a beginner I completed 24 weeks of the continuously increasing weekly KM workload (longest training unit: 30 km). During the longer training sessions I noticed something interesting: After I had completed half the distance (which I could check on my GPS watch), the remaining distance didn't seem as difficult as the first half of the run.

Then I read an interesting tip in another book for long-distance runners: You complete the race (or the training) better if you imagine yourself reaching the finish line. The mental vision that you will reach the goal helps you when you are tempted to quit.

In his first letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul compares our lives as Christians to a race. Unlike an athletic race, we all win the prize when we reach the finish line. For us, the finish line is the Kingdom of God, entering into eternal life.

On our way there are obstacles, challenges and sometimes disappointments, and you can be tempted to quit the race. Should this happen to us, the same tip applies to us as to a long-distance runner who is tempted to quit the race: Imagine the finish line!

The author of the epistle to the Hebrews admonishes us to think of those who have gone before us and have been tested severely, but did not give up: "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls" (Hebrews 12:1-3).

If it seems difficult for us to continue our race toward the kingdom, imagine what Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, would say to us: "Keep going – you're going to make it!"

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


internal links:


search blog: