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Run to Win. Trust Your Guide.

I learned some amazing things about the Olympics today.

Did you know that blind runners compete in their own Olympic competitions, called the Paralympics?

How do blind runners make their way around the track to the finish line? They use a buddy system.

Each runner is assigned a guide, a sighted runner to whom the blind athlete tethers himself at the wrist. This guide runs completely in sync with the Olympic athlete, step for step, calling out helpful directions all along the way.

The blind athlete must learn to completely trust his guide, because on the track, he is running in a full-on sprint toward the finish line with no ability to see anything in front of him. He is completely dependent on his guide to navigate him through the turns and around any obstacles in the way. If he doesn’t trust his guide, it becomes impossible to run a strong race.

But the guide is not just a partner for competition day. The two athletes train together for hours every day, for months and often years in preparation for the Paralympics. The guide often becomes the Olympian’s greatest supporter and encourager. The two athletes usually form a very tight bond.

Isn’t this a beautiful illustration for the Christian life? The Holy Spirit, whom we receive when we are immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), is our running guide.

By making our bodies His dwelling place (1 Cor. 6:19), He becomes “tethered” to us, partnering with us to train for this race of life that we must run. As we attempt to blindly navigate the many obstacles, twists and turns that we often do not see coming, He is there, warning us of the danger ahead, guiding us to avoid the obstacles and navigate the turns in our paths, encouraging and strengthening us with His words. He runs completely in sync with us in order to support and help us run our best race possible.

We have a choice in life: we can doubt, question, or reject our Guide’s help, trying to run the course on our own, stopping to blindly stumble and feel our way through the unexpected twists and turns, forfeiting our ability to finish the race well; or we can choose to trust him completely, fully committing to run our race and finish well, syncing with and depending on the Holy Spirit to faithfully guide us to the finish line.

Blind independence or absolute trust? Which will you choose?

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Cor. 9:24)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:1-2)

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