A Missouri woman is in trouble for something she did not do. Kendall Schler did not run the St. Louis marathon. But unlike other people who did not run the race, Schler snuck onto the course near the end and pretended not only to finish but to win the women’s division. She has since been disqualified.
Paul used marathon terminology in 2 Timothy 4:7. Coming to the end of his life he wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” He viewed his life in Christ as a long, sometimes difficult race that had to be approached with energy and determination every day. He wasn’t claiming to have earned his salvation, but he was saying that faith is something you engage in for a lifetime.
Too many people treat Christianity like Kendall Schler treated the marathon. They want to claim to be a participant while not running the race. If anyone asks, they will say, “I am a Christian,” but they have nothing to show for evidence. They go off course, spend their time living life for themselves, and expect at the end to claim victory.
Schler’s prize money and trophy have been taken away from her. But for all who run the Christian race daily, for all who endure to the end, there is a crown of righteousness waiting at the finish line, a prize that will never be taken away.