"They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first." John 20:4
This verse tickles me.
Can't you see them? Peter and John, after hearing word from Mary Magdalene that Jesus' body was missing from the tomb, start out to see for themselves. And, being the competitive men that they are, John overtakes Peter and beats him to the tomb. Like little kids, I can almost see John looking over at Peter to say, "beat ya."
But, when they got there, the race ends and the focus immediately shifts to Jesus.
I'm competitive, too. God made me that way. It's not a bad thing. It just has to be used in the right way. If I had been with Peter and John, I would have been determined to beat them both--not because I'm particularly fast--I just like to win!
Today, I won. I competed against myself. The day was hotter than yesterday, and humid, too. But, I ran the farthest I've ever run--almost a mile and a quarter, and a decent time, too. I experienced a burst of energy near the end that propelled me on--the runner's high. Another two weeks of increasing distance and pace, and it will be time for the first 5K. Woo hoo!!
But, like Peter and John, I have to remember why I'm running, and who I'm running for, because in the end, the only thing that really matters is Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 tells us, "Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."
May we live our lives in such a way as to never be disqualified.
See you at the finish line.