The Comrades Marathon, which began in 1921, is the oldest ultra-marathon. Covering 90 km (56 miles), it is held annually in South Africa. Bruce Fordyce completely dominated this marathon in the 1980s, winning it nine times between 1981 and 1990. His 1986 record of 5 hours 24 minutes and 7 seconds stood for 21 years before it was finally broken in 2007. It’s amazing to me that he has continued to run in this race every year.
In a sense, we as Christians are all in a marathon. It takes endurance to run and finish the race of life. When the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he spoke of how he was “reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (3:13) and pressing on “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (v.14).
Our Lord Jesus has set an example of how to run life’s marathon. The Bible tells us that Jesus “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). Despite “hostility from sinners,” He completed His race (v.3).
The secret to finishing well is to look forward to the joy that awaits us after life’s race—eternal life with Him.