“I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
— PHILIPPIANS 3:14 (Msg)
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, we have our own lives to live.
Nobody can live our lives for us; no one can run our race. Only we can know what race God is calling us to run, and how we are to run that race.
Can anyone insist they know better? Some are in a position to tell us so, but there are many others who would tell us who have no such role. God gives us the responsibility to discern our own lives, and his will for us; we, who would live for him.
Paul offers us a clue. We need to discern what race we are to run and then run it without looking back; keeping on running, focused, and enamoured for the disciplines God calls us to.
We must pick the vocations that tweak our passions.
But perhaps more importantly than selecting the things we feel God is calling is to regarding vocation is the idea of running our race in the spiritual realm.
Some of us are, by nature, hotheads. Some of us were not blessed with diligence. Many of us are not prudent. Humility is a big task for a lot of us.
Running our race, living our lives, in the way that Paul is talking about here, is determining what character traits need work; how we are to be discipled as disciples of Christ.
Running a good race right until the finishing line – in a race such as this life – means we are to make progress; the race as a metaphor for gradual character improvement. The further the race runs the more we are potentially able to improve; the more pace we can get up; better strength of stride.
There is every motivation to run our race as well as we can, because as we invest in character growth we are blessed with more and more resilience for the dry and lowly times ahead.
We all have a race to run in this life – our life – a race that is marked out for us by God to that particular design for us as persons. We cannot run somebody else’s race. We can only run our own race. Our job is to run well, allowing God to improve our characters according to the strengths and weaknesses already known.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.