The runners walk to their lane, attempt to shake out their nerves, then carefully place feet in the starting blocks and fingers just a hair behind the starting line. They lean forward with hearts pounding, anticipating the starter pistol.
Each participant chose to be a runner. Decided to join others in this event. Made the commitment to attend on race day. But what if that’s all they did? What if when “GO!” resounded, the runner stayed in the blocks? Or maybe bolted forward a few yards and abruptly or perhaps casually, stopped.
Have we witnessed this in Christianity? Friends or family accept Jesus as Savior, but never take another step forward in walking with Him. Or maybe quit just a few paces into their race.
Jesus challenged His soon-to-be disciples with, “Come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19). Upon acceptance of the invitation, forward movement was expected.
The invitation, however, was not for Jesus’ disciples alone. Jesus clarified, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
Being a Jesus follower requires surrender and sacrifice. It weighs obedience greater than convenience and others above self. Christians are to grow in spiritual maturity and bear spiritual fruit. They strive to stay on the path of righteousness.
If you know someone who is ‘stuck’ in their race, now is the time to give an encouraging word, perhaps a gentle prod. Seek the Lord for just the right words to cheer them on.
If you are the one who is ‘stuck,’ I encourage you to look where God wants you to step right now. Remember His love and His sacrifice for you. Trust Him. Take Him at His word and step forward. You can do it, for you are not alone.