As a teenager and even into my days growing as a Marine, I don't recall ever thinking about getting married and having children. Having grown up in a divorced, single parent family, my thoughts were never about that as there was never that. My thoughts were initially to be a professional baseball player and then just to fall in love. My life never seemed to fit into a world of "normal".
Coming home with the disappointment of the war in Viet Nam I became lost, running the race of life as a sprint, getting as much as I could from whomever I could. I took Paul's words in Corinthians and turned them upside down, I ran like a runner running aimlessly with no apparent prize in sight and continued this way until my mid 30's, never finding a place where I fit in.
After all, it is the human race, so why not run it as fast and as furious as one can? But what happened to me is possibly what happened to you. I ran out of gas, became empty, and no longer had any clue which direction my life should go in. There was no lane to run in, and no finish line in sight.
Then came Jesus and I found my lane. Then came Paul's words only in a different perspective:
"You must also run in such a way that you will win......They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize......So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 partial - NLT
Now the light bulbs turned on, Run To Win, but do so with a purpose in mind, that purpose being the mind of Christ to run and lead others to the finish line without living or punching aimlessly. Quite frankly I threw way too many aimless ones that missed, all because I had no idea what prize I was running for.
Now I do, and as the preacher at Sandy Springs Church of Christ and later at North Atlanta, Bill Long, so accurately put it, the prize is simple. Go to heaven and take as many people as we can with us.
That my friends is a marathon event, not a sprint, in which every single one of us can Run To Win!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.