Perhaps the memories associated with these words connect with the beginning of a race. All kinds of races, from “chuck-wagon” to “foot” races, begin the same way.
A few interesting facts about these races are significant when considering the importance of leadership.
First, racing is a contest with a key factor – winning. After all, this is the purpose of the race. All other factors are in place to achieve this factor.
Second, all races have one goal in mind – finishing. How someone finishes depends on how they expend their efforts during the race, but the one goal all participants have is to finish.
Third, another key factor is involved – preparation. In some ways, this is the most important part of the race. The nature of one’s preparation is indicated by the performance when racing – the better the preparation, the better the performance.
Paul refers to these three components as “competition, the prize, and self-control.”
Spiritually, the race involves our eternal destiny and that of those who are led. How we prepare to run, strive to win souls, and finish this race is worth the time given: ready…set…go.