1 Corinthians 9:25
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
The semester is nearing its end for college students, and this is most usually the time when the going gets tough. And it’s difficult for the tough to get going—there’s just a lack of motivation and energy.
Yet Christians are called to finish the race with faithfulness, patience and endurance so that we may glorify God. So as Christian students, we should be striving to earn eternal crowns, especially at the end of the semester.
Pageant queens win beautiful, shining crowns that they wear with grace and pride, but once their reign is over, another queen wins a crown. Suddenly, that first crown seems to lose some of its value, and now it might just rest on a shelf as a representation of glory that once was.
But a Christian’s crown is of eternal value. It will never sit on a shelf — it will be thrown at Jesus’ feet, and He will forever receive glory.
We don’t have to participate in pageants to receive a beautiful crown; we can strive to serve God daily to earn crowns for our Savior. Especially at this time, students should have an enduring mindset with the desire to finish strong.
Yesterday’s Collegian included an editorial about finishing the race, and I think we could use this admonition as the semester draws to a close.
“When it comes to finishing a race, a few options are on the table: running out of steam and finishing halfheartedly, quitting when the going gets inevitably tough, or finishing with endurance despite difficulty and exhaustion.
Everyone has run a different race this semester, a race that God has ordained to overlap, intersect and influence the lives of others in accordance to His plan. While we don’t know the full breadth of His plan, we do know that we are called to be faithful to our individual race — whatever hardships or joys that particular race may involve.
In a series of sermons about “Running the Race,” evangelist Will Galkin described what the Christian life is often like: “Sometimes, when we picture the race I think we think of nice, paved roads: 76 degrees, a breeze from behind, and weightless water packs in our hands,” he says. “But actually, [in] this race, your batteries have run out, the trail is now full of rocks, you haven’t drunk any water for three days, it’s no longer flat — it’s an incline. It’s now barely a footpath, and it begins to rain. And you split open your shoe, and your foot is bleeding. There are people alongside you mocking you. And you see a nice home, and yet the coach is telling you to run.”
With the semester drawing to a close, many students, and even faculty and staff, may feel that Galkin’s words describe the race they are trudging through. The trials and difficulties seem to be enhanced by deadlines that are looming, school bills that are due, or intensifying pressures of relationships. The trying situations in our lives have made us run with a limp, and we may be tempted to stop running altogether.
The writer of Hebrews knew the Christian race is filled with hardships, yet his words admonish us to endure the race that God has set before us with Jesus Christ as our motivation. Hebrews 12:1-2 commands the believer to run with patience: “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, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Are you running your race with the enduring hope of Christ’s Gospel? The Collegian staff encourages the university family to be strengthened by the words of Hebrews 12, completing this semester’s race with the patience and faithfulness that will glorify the God whose Son ran a perfect race.”