Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (AMPC)
Life is a race and no two people run the same race rather each person has their own unique one custom made for them. Even married couples who are one body under one vision have separate races set out for them. For example, the man is a husband and the woman is a wife. He leads, she supports.
A race has a mark or goal that’s set for and to be reached by the one running it. There’s a prize to be won when the runner reaches the goal in accordance with the set rules of the race.
2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
Your own race is your own calling, vocation or ministry. It’s what you are here on earth for. It’s what you’re built, gifted and talented for. Running your race is fulfilling or carrying out the ministry we have from the Lord. Colossians 4:17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
Whether it is preaching, encouraging, giving, prophesying, teaching, administration, pastoring, hospitality, leading, supporting, showing kindness, parenting, each and every one of us has been called to our own particular race and must run to the finish.
Know that there’s a prize to win at the end after we finish our race or fulfill our ministry. This prize the Lord Himself gives to us.
To run effectively and win we must compete according to the rules set down. Do not get into or do anything because everyone does it, because it’s the popular and trending thing, or because you can do it, or someone said you can do it, but rather because you know in your heart and through prayer it’s what God has called you to do.
Running your race to win requires self-discipline. First, discipline your body. 1Corinthians 9:27.
Your body is the vessel in which you carry out your life’s mission. It’s your 24/7 work station. It has to be in good working condition. Keep it healthy and strong, watch what you feed it with. Give it appropriate rest. Don’t overwork it. Keep it fit do not let it be inactive, dull, or lazy. Next, discipline your mind.
If your body is the hardware then your mind is the software.
The mind drives the body. Proverbs 23:7 As you think in your heart so are you.
In sports or even in any activity whatever you do is first done in the mind then it’s acted out physically or outwardly. The physical follows the mental. You always go in the direction of your dominant thoughts. Jesus said just thinking adulterous thoughts is no different from committing adultery.
Watch what you allow into your mind. It’s always TITO – Trash In Trash Out!
You should realize that not all things are helpful, appropriate, profitable, or good for you. 1Corinthians 6:12
For example, carrying a heavyweight though right for a wrestler or weight lifter isn’t helpful for a marathon runner.
While there’s nothing wrong with entertainment but if we spend most of our time there then we will have no time to apply ourselves to the things that really matter in life.
It’s not a sin to hang out with people but spending time and listening to people who are not encouraging you towards your purpose in life and most of whom discourage you and even despise or outrightly attack the very things you believe in is an indiscipline that will disqualify you from the race.