The Bible uses an athlete running a race as an analogy of a Christian trying to follow God in their life.
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Running a race for your life sounds very overwhelming. Indeed, it seems an odd thing to have your life depend on how well you run. However, the race we are talking about has a very different prize to a gold medal.
Your life really does depend on you entering this race, as it will benefit you in a much more permanent way than any short term physical activity. This race has a prize worth aiming for!
“…I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day…” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
So, what do you need to do to get ready? First, you have to start by training. Nobody would participate in a sporting event without at least some form of training. We cannot follow God and live a life pleasing to Him without doing likewise.
We have to stop living a life of apathy and make a conscious choice to make Him part of our lives.
“I know your works, that you are neither hot nor cold. I could wish that you were hot or cold.” (Revelation 3:15)
In preparing for an event, an athlete will start regular training; will re-evaluate their diet and their social life will change as the training becomes more demanding or more frequent. The event becomes their absolute focus. Every decision they make will be reached knowing that they have training to complete or food preparation to get done.
We need to be as equally focused on God. Christ talks regularly about having a close relationship with God.
This means that we should think of God first when we have something to worry about, something that is upsetting us, or something to celebrate. Simply offering a prayer every time we experience one of these emotions will help bring our focus back to God.