--Philippians 3:14, " I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus"--
This verse always reminds me of track. I remember last year, it was one of our first neighborhood runs. As we were running back to our school, I was dead tired and one of the last ones to finish. So my coach started running with me so that I would not be alone and to keep me in pace. I told her in between puffs of air, "I'm not going to give up." And I didn't stop running until the end.
[Fast forward to the last track meet of the season.]
I had to run the dreaded 800 race. As I was running the last stretch, I remember that there were two girls running right in front of me. And as I was running behind them, I thought, "Wait a minute, I can run faster than this." So I sprinted and passed both the girls and finished 3rd or 4th (I can't remember.) The exciting thing was, I had cut my time off, making a great personal record (PR).
As the track meet ended and we were picking up all of the trash on the ground, my track coach came to me to congratulate me on my PR. Then she told me to think back to our first practice when I told her that I would never give up.
I didn't give up. And I improved so much. I pressed on toward my goal. And I never gave up. I will take this story and transpose it to my spiritual life and say that I will never give up. I will stand firm against my temptation. I will keep my principles. I won't back down because I know it will give to perseverance and perseverance, character and character, hope. And I will win my prize. My prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.