1 Corinthians 9:24 - Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize.
Have you ever run in a race before? Officially I've only run one race. A couple of years ago I agreed to run an obstacle race called the Warrior Dash with my uncle and cousins. As far as winning the race I didn't have a chance. This was the first race I had ever run and my preparation for it was rather pathetic. I had done a little bit of jogging and I played basketball. So winning the race was out of the question, my only goal was to finish and survive.
Upon arriving at the start of the race you could tell who was there to actually compete. They were the ones who had prepared ahead of time and were fit and ready to go. If you are wanting to have a chance at winning a race you have to prepare for it. In my race I didn't come prepared to win. I didn't train or condition myself to run. I barely made it to the finish line.
Paul compares our life to a race. He then tells us that we must run the race to get the prize. We need to focus and train so that we will be able to overcome every obstacle. Training is important, but once you are running the race it is too late to train. At that point the most important thing is to focus on the prize.
Too many times we get on the right path, but then we see something off on the sidelines and we get distracted. We take our eyes off the goal and then we lose progress. Keep your eyes on the prize. If you keep your focus on where you want to be you will not get stuck in the obstacles that come up. Just like when I ran my race, the obstacles will slow you down, but they will not stop you.
It is time to figure out what race you are running. What is your goal? Once you have that, focus on it and run in a way to take hold of it.