“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” With those words, Paul compared his life to a race, something to which most people can relate. We live in a world that is infatuated with sports and athletics. Perhaps Paul’s world was not like that, but his willingness to use it as a metaphor certainly strikes a chord with our society today.
Our faith lives, our lives of stewardship, parallel Paul’s in terms of it being a race. We are not talking about a sprint, mind you, but a long, drawn out marathon. It is easy to stumble and it is easy to quit, but the real challenge is maintaining our faith and following our faith. Stewardship as a way of life presents us with many challenges and many hurdles, to use another racing term.
The faithful steward strives to keep moving, to keep praying, to keep trying to fulfill Jesus’ call and exhortation to us to be His disciples, His followers. Paul admits that he could not have run the race, could not have remained true to it, without the help and strength offered to him by the Lord. There is no shame, and no humility, in admitting that we need help, lots of it, to maintain our faith in a world which tests it constantly.
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