Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1b ESV
In our minds-eye we can imagine a picture of a long-distance runner struggling to cross the finish line. Perhaps they pulled a muscle or had a cramp or got dehydrated. It happens at every level of the sport, from high school to the Olympics. The ethos of crossing the finish line is so engrained in these athletes that they will not quit. They hobble, crawl, or walk, sometimes aided by a fellow athlete or a family member from the stands until they finish the race. There is no disgrace. Finishing the race is even more important than winning.
Paul used the metaphor of a race to illustrate the responsibility of running the Christian life until we cross the finish line. He never entertained the possibility of slacking off because of old age or infirmity. We run until our time on earth is finished or until Jesus comes again. Yes, younger and stronger may win the speed race. But faithfulness wins the race of commitment to Christ and Kingdom.
Prepare now to run the whole race. Commit yourself to finishing strong with whatever strength and abilities you have, until your last breath or your first sight of Jesus. Be able to say, as did Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 ESV