The Race is over but the Lessons linger on

About a year ago, my family and I completed the 5km Fun Run during the General Conference Session.  The race itself was exhilarating, but the TEN spiritual lessons linger on.

1. Emails were sent to tell us about the 5km run during the 60th GC session on the 5th of July. We registered and waited for the appointed time. While we were waiting for the date, we received a lot of commu nication view emails keeping us informed of the progress of the preparation of the race. During the waiting period, some participants deregistered from the race for various reasons. It could be that they found other engagements that were more important that the race. Engaging in the race would mean that they miss out – so they deregistered.

Lesson 1.  The bible tells us that Jesus Christ is going to come for the second time to take us home. So those of us who know that Christ is coming, are waiting for His return. They are some who know about the coming of Christ but are not prepared to wait for His coming. Many people know about the coming of Christ but because of the cares of this world, they have lost their first love, they are no longer behaving like people waiting for the return of Christ. This group needs revival and reformation.There is an unfortunate group that is not waiting for the coming of Christ because they don’t know about Jesus’ coming. This ignorant group is waiting for us to go and tell them about the love of Christ and that He will be coming to take us home.

While we are waiting, we need to have open communication with Jesus through prayer and bible study. This communication will give us a deeper experience with Christ. Our communication with Jesus is enhanced if we witness. “If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will plead with God, and your faith will be strengthened, and your soul will drink deeper drafts at the well of salvation” White, E G, Steps to Christ, p. 80.

2. Before the race we had to be exercising so that we will be able to run the race.

Lesson 2.  As Christians there are exercises that we need to do so that we will be ready to meet Jesus when He comes. We need prayer, bible reading and witnessing. These exercises will keep our faith strong. These exercises will develop in us Christ-like characters.

3.  As we were preparing for the race, we were together as a family; the Awesome Four, as we affectionately call ourselves. We took pictures as a family just before the race. In less than a minute we had separated from each other. We were lost in the crowd of runners, but I knew we were all running the race, we formed this large group of runners.

Lesson 3.  As we move on in our Christian journey, the family becomes larger. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. Since we are family, characteristics of the family should rule: love, patience, unity, support and encouragement.

4. As I ran the first km, I kept focusing on my goal to finish the race. I even reminded myself not to walk unless I am tired. When I came to the 2 km peg I started feeling tired. A young lady joined me and we encouraged each other to finish the race.

Lesson 4.  As Christians we need the spiritual support of fellow believers. We need each other but the actual finishing of race is on an individual basis.

5. Nditsheni, my friend, was not aware of the race. When she heard about the race 2 days before the race she determined to do the race despite the fact that registration had been closed. On the race day, she woke up and went to the meeting point. She was able to register and do the race. One of the facilitators bought a t-shirt for her.

Lesson 5.  It doesn’t really matter how long you have known about the coming of Christ, what matters is your ability to live a Christian life from the time you know about His coming. Being born into an Adventist  home will not get us to heaven, it is living a life that is totally surrendered to God that will get us to heaven.

6. About 100m from the finishing point, there was a huge group of people encouraging me to finish the race. At that point I got a new supply of energy and with a broad, award winning smile, I finished race at 42:12!  There was great jubilation from the other runners.  When my family saw me, their joy exceeded all and I too was very happy that we had all made it!

Lesson 6.  As we get towards the end of earth’s history, we need to finish the harvest and go home: we need to work harder, winning souls. We need to finish the work: our neigbours, workmates, collegues etc need to know about the good news. The greatest joy in heaven would be to find your complete family saved!

7. There was great jubilation from the other runners, when my family saw me their joy exceeded all and I too was very happy that we had all made it!

Lesson  7.  The joy that we will experience when we get saved can’t be compared with the joy of finishing the race. Meeting our loved ones will be awesome – I long to see my sister who is now waiting for the return of Christ. I imagine the greatest joy in heaven would be to find your complete family saved!  They will be exceeding joy that will last forever!

8. I was very happy to see my husband and my daughter at the finishing point celebrating the achievement. I was so over-joyed and shocked to see my son, Nyasha, who even finished the race before me. As a family, and even our friends, we were all worried if Nyasha would make it through the race. We never saw Nyasha preparing for the race but he just told us casually that he was preparing for the race.

Lesson 8.  In heaven they will be many suprises. We are going to see people we wrote off while on this earth. Let’s not judge each other, let’s leave that with the all- knowing God.

9. As we started the race, I didn’t have a clue on the route for the race but I just ran along with others.

Lesson 9.  Not knowing the date of Christ’s return should not make us live a less Christian life. As long as we know that He is coming, we should continue living a genuine christian life, a life totally surrendered to God.

10.  Those registered for the race received nice gifts including a pedometer and those who completed the race got medals.

Lesson 10

There are benefits of living a life surrendered to Christ which includes good health, peace and happiness. The final reward will be eternal life, spending eternity with our Lord and Saviour. I want to be there! Let’s be there, by God’s grace.

Mrs Patience Shumba

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