Philippians 3:14
The Checkered Flag

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul had one aim before him. He wanted to be the man God wanted him to be in order to attain that supreme prize of a “Well done, good and faithful servant.” What greater aim is there than that for one who loves the Lord. His one ambition was that in this race he would keep that in view in spite of all that would happen to him. He did not let the memories of the past change his direction nor his determination. It is important that we leave behind everything that would hinder us from fulfilling the privileges and responsibilities of our Christian calling. In the same way runners train for the race by focusing their attention and energy on the race before them, so we need to constantly remind ourselves that this race we are in as Christians is not designed to be easy.

Some started fast and did a lot – too soon their race was run
Before they lived very many years, their work on earth was done
God in His sovereign plans gave them one work to do
While others were still preparing, they were already through.

Others take a long time trying to get things all figured out
The meaning of words, the gifts they have, what life is all about
A lot of time is spent waiting and trying to get more training
Finally they get things all together and then they start off running.

Others are known as “plodders;” they don’t move very fast
They start off at a steady pace and watch other runners pass
They press on past training centers and the cemeteries too
Steadily moving toward the goal just doing what they need to do.

There are a lot of different ways the people of God run in the race
All of them are going to be satisfied when they see the Savior’s face
The “checkered flag” – the goal line – these are only metaphors
The prize will be to see Jesus, who our eyes never saw before.

Whether fast or slow, timid or bold, aggressive or a plodder
All have one thing in common – we are going to our Father
And there when we see Jesus in the flesh and give account to Him
We will rejoice in the results of grace – we will see more clearly then.

Now, while pressing ahead each day, I’m becoming more conscious
Of the checked flag; the goal line, the actual presence
Of the One who waits for us, and often comes unseen
To assist me in this race I’m running, helping me to honor Him.

“Lord God, I know the race is not the objective nor is the goal the reason for the race – but the prize of bringing honor to Him who called me. I thank Thee for allowing me this privilege of running for Him – even though I am a slow runner. Amen.”

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