Most dogs like to run, but I’ve never seen a dog run with more purpose and determination than a sled dog.
Sled dogs are born and bred for speed and endurance, and they love nothing more than to be harnessed to a sled and pull for all their worth. Once they hear the command Hike! their sole focus is on running as fast as they can in the direction their master signals.
Dog mushing is a big sport in my home state of Alaska, and many mushers race their teams in local or international competitions, such as the Yukon Quest. When mushers are serious about winning the race, they put their dogs through countless hours of physical training. They may also implement other conditioning, such as feeding the dogs a special diet. Everything the dogs do revolves around one goal: winning the race.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 (NIV) Paul wrote, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly.”
Like a sled dog, and like the apostle Paul, I want to take my race seriously. I want to maintain a firm grasp of what I was born for, and I want to passionately pursue that with everything in me. Doing so requires keeping my attention on God’s voice and direction. It means subjecting myself to training and to the sharpening of the gifts He’s given me. It means letting go of anything that might detract or distract from my ability to push onward into what He is calling me to.
I want to run my race in such a way as to win the prize. And at the end of the race, I want to hear my master say, “Well done!”
What has God called you to in this season of life? Are you training for your race and running with purpose and perseverance?