Satisfaction in life can be fleeting. Even major markers or phases can be achieved and still leave us feeling unsatisfied. Anyone who trains for a race or a competition will tell you that after all the hard work reward is incredibly key. This is how Paul taught us about our lives of faith.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Paul includes two other metaphors: that of a soldier and also a farmer. Cultivating is a big part of a farmer’s success. While farming can be ever-present and isolating, soldiers must rely upon one another for safety and success of objectives. An athlete competes against himself or herself in their chosen field. They must train and run with discipline and self-motivation.
Each of these three examples gives us insight into our faith. This is why success to Paul meant to hear the words well done. He had fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith. He was counting on his victor’s crown at the end of his journey. As are we!