Hebrews 12:1 | Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
The Bible often presents the Christian life as a race that must be run. As Christ followers, we have a starting point which occurs at our salvation and we have a finish line that will be reached when Christ returns for His kingdom. In between we each follow the unique course that God has set for us as individuals. We must run our own race not that of others, not even other Christians.
On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first man in history to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. Within 2 months, John Landy eclipsed the record by 1.4 seconds. On August 7, 1954, the two met together for a historic race. As they moved into the last lap, Landy held the lead. It looked as if he would win, but as he neared the finish he was haunted by the question, “Where is Bannister?” As he turned to look, Bannister took the lead. Landy later told a Time magazine reporter, “If I hadn’t looked back, I would have won!”
So often in the Christian life we become concerned with what other people and other Christians are doing, or not doing, and we lose sight of what it is that Christ is calling us to do. Christ is calling us to follow Him and no one else. Looking back or worrying about what others are doing distracts us from the task at hand and we lose sight of the finish line. We must focus on our own race and not look to the left or to the right but only looking forward toward Jesus (Heb. 12:2). We are to look to him for inspiration, direction, encouragement and strength.