Running is for loners. An advocate may recruit you, a good mentor may help you train, kind sponsors may purchase the equipment you need and cover your expenses, and enthusiastic people may cheer you from the sidelines. But in the end, the race is yours alone.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
1 Corinthians 9:24
So it is with our children. We can present them with the gospel, train them in the way they should go, equip them with Scripture, a Christian family and opportunities for growth, and encourage them in the faith. But in the end, the race is theirs. And the race is theirs alone.
Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
I might have a running partner, but even he will not know the strength of the breath, the determination of the will, the power of the struggle, the pain of the fight or the depth of joy in the victory. Yes, running is for loners.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Our role then, is to train, encourage, equip, and PRAY so that our children can “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares” them, and “run with endurance the race that is set before” them.
The race is theirs.
I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7