On more than one occasion, the Bible compares the Christian life to running a race. The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13–14, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Paul's focus was the end of the race, because the key is not just to start the race; it is to finish it well. Things don't always turn out the way we think they will. Take, for example, the 2013 Super Bowl. It was not a close game during the first half. But after a power outage in the stadium, the San Francisco 49ers began making an amazing comeback, right up to the last moments of the game.
In the race of life, it doesn't matter whether we hold first place for nine-tenths of the race. We have to finish. Sometimes in the Christian life, people leave the starting blocks with a bang, with a lot of passion and zeal. Then they lose their speed and energy, and the next thing you know, they have effectively crashed and burned. We have to pace ourselves in the race of life.
You may be just starting the race of life, you may be at the midway point, or you may be in your last laps. We naturally assume that at a young age, we have just started the race, and when we have lived a long time, we are finishing it. But we don't know when our lives will end. We don't know when our race will be over. This is why we always want to run well.