Have you ever run a marathon? How about a 5K? Did you wear two of the same shoes? If so, I’m assuming they were running shoes. Right? Same size on each foot too, right?
I know that seems like a stupid question, but this next one is even sillier.
Do you think you would have done as well in that race, had you worn a pair of heels? Stilettos? And for you men – How about a pair of heavy, steel-toed construction boots? Could you have run a marathon and done as well, and felt as good, had you worn steel-toed boots instead of a good pair of running shoes?
How about if you ran the race wearing one stiletto, and one running shoe? Or, one steel-toed construction boot, and one running shoe?
Of course not!
Where am I going with this? Well, when I put my sneakers on this morning I grabbed two shoes in the dark, and they were both completely different shoes, and thought to myself, “I won’t be getting very far like this!”
Immediately I recalled 1 Corinthians 9:24, “”Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”
It has been years since I have run – decades in fact. But I’m not sure I could pull off a 12-hour shift at the hospital wearing two different shoes.
Our walks with Christ should have a similar concept. You can’t follow Christ with one foot, while the other foot chases the things of this world, any more than you can run the Detroit Marathon with one stiletto or steel-toed boot, and one running shoe. You won’t succeed. You’ll fail.
As Christ followers, we don’t belong to his world. John 15:19 says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
I think that all of us know when we have crossed the line, and begun to love the things of this world more than the race we are running. I really feel today like my course needs some scenery adjustments, and my shoes need new laces.
I so very much want to feel like Paul when he wrote this in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”