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The Race of Life

By Steve Bietz

Burke Countysteve bietz Burke County

Aesop was an ancient Greek storyteller born around 620 BC as a slave.  His stories usually had moral lessons, especially for children.  One such Aesop story has been handed down entitled: The Hare And The Tortoise.  Aesop explained that a Hare was making fun of the Tortoise one day for being so slow.  “Do you ever get anywhere?” he asked with a mocking laugh.  “Yes,” replied the Tortoise, “and I get there sooner than you think.  I’ll run you a race to prove it.”

The Hare was much amused at the idea of running a race with the Tortoise,  but for the fun of the thing he agreed.  So the Fox, who had consented to act as judge, marked the distance and started the runners off.

The Hare was soon far out of sight, and to make the Tortoise feel very deeply how ridiculous it was for him to try to race with a Hare, he lay down beside the course to take a nap until the Tortoise should catch up.

The Tortoise meanwhile kept going slowly but steadily, and, after a time, passed the place where the Hare was sleeping.  But the Hare slept on very peacefully; and when at last he did wake up, the Tortoise was near the goal.  The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time.  And the moral of the story is slow and steady wins the race.

The Bible often depicts the life we live as a race.  For example, in Hebrews 12:1 we read “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

During the time of the 1st century when the New Testament was written, athletic contests were held periodically in Greece.  There was also the Isthmian or Corinthian, games which Paul probably was thinking of when he wrote a letter to the Corinthian Church and said: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?  So run, that you may obtain.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)

Because the Christian race is a lifelong experience, it calls for patience and perseverance, often in the face of difficulties and disappointments.  Patience is needed as we await the reward at the end of the course.

All who entered the Greek races put forth their best efforts to win the prize.  They used all the skill and stamina they had.  None of them were indifferent, or careless.  The crown of life is offered to all, but only those who subject themselves to strict training will obtain the prize.  This means that at all times the Christian will be guided by the high standards of the Bible.  At every step of the race, may we ask, is our path under the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that eternal life will be the prize that Jesus Himself will give us?


Steve Bietz is the pastor at Morganton Seventh Day Adventist Church. You can read more good Christian news from Pastor Steve Bietz HERE.


Blue Ridge Christian News covers Burke County, McDowell County, Mitchell County, Yancey County, Madison County, in North Carolina, and Christian news from around the country.