The Lost Race

The Lost Race

To the participants in one of the Olympic games, loss of the four-hundred-meter relay race for women was a tragic incident. The Germans were far in the lead when the next-to-the-last girl came to pass the baton to the last runner. With a clear five-yard lead and the race as good as won, the baton was dropped. Pictures showed the despair on the face of the last runner as she realized what had happened. We sat one evening in Berlin looking at an illustrated magazine that showed pictures of the Olympics. The magazine had texts under the pictures in several languages. The English read: "They muffed the baton"; the French read: "le temoin," the French word for "witness." The idea was that the runner who reached the tape had to have the baton as a "witness" that the full distance had been covered by each of the runners.

If the witness is lost, the race is lost, provides a great spiritual lesson. These girls had made the Olympic team and had the honors attendant upon their prowess. They were eligible to run the race. They lost the prize, however, by losing the witness. They were castaways from the medals.

So it is in the Christian life. All who are born again are eligible to run the race. No one can run the race until he is made eligible through saving faith. All who are received into salvation in Christ will be in Heaven, but not all will receive the prize in addition to salvation.

1. Where in scripture do we find an analogy to running a race and the Christian’s life?
2. What does it mean if we drop the baton in the middle of the race?

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