Know Your Running Style


Have you ever watched the 1500 metres at an Olympic Games? I really look forward to seeing this distance event above all others.

The 100 metres is a pure sprint flat out from start to finish, whilst the marathon is a 42km endurance survival of the fittest where persistence and gritty determination to finish can hopefully get you over the line.

In contrast, the 1500 metres middle distance is an event where tactics and knowing your style can see you come out in front. Some 1500 metre runners don't have much of a "kick" or sprint finish so they have to go hard from the outset, maintain a blistering pace, burn off the opposition, and hope to hang on at the end. Other runners can't maintain their fastest speed over the distance and will go out easier and rely on their fast "kick" in the last 200 metres to get in front. The 1500 metres is a race that suits different types of runners and gives them all a chance. Everyone can be a winner!

The Christian life is a race that similarly suits the different "running styles" that God has gifted us. We are all "built" differently with different gifts, abilities and personalities. Some will be best suited to one steady hard pace from start to finish whilst others will run best by ensuring they don't burn themselves out too early and have nothing left in the tank to finish. What's important is to understand your "running style" and run at the pace that enables you to record your personal best, making sure there is "petrol in the tank" to get you home.

The Apostle Paul writes to encourage all who follow Jesus to run the race of life in such a way as to win the prize. The contest of life is not pitting you against other Christians in a race where there can only be one winner. Rather, Paul is saying that all who follow Christ to the finish line will be winners, so just make sure you stay on track and run with discipline, knowing how you run best so that you will have "petrol in the tank" to get you across the line. So don't compare yourself to those who seem to have sprinted off in front and don't discredit those who seem to be back in the field, run with discipline at your best pace that allows you to do your personal best. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV):

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

May we each encourage one another in the race so we all finish well together.

Yours in Christ,


Peter Rogers

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