Racing for the grand prize

Annual Long Beach Grand Prix inspires reflection on the ultimate victory

By Ken Mowery

It’s Friday, April 13, at 7:15 a.m. on pit row at the 38th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The pit crews are busy prepping their cars, checking fuel levels, tire pressure and various computer read-outs of the engine systems. Emotions are high; participants are tense but excited. All are working for one thing: to be the fastest team around the track on race day and the first to encounter the black and white checkered flag. They all want to win.

In Philippians, Paul writes of another type of person who is single-minded in reaching the goal “to know Christ.” It’s as if you and I can be athletes living our lives with purpose and enthusiasm, looking to Jesus knowing that one day we will collect the prize. The difference between the Grand Prix racers and Paul—or you and me—is that we, as Christians, can reach this goal. This is because Jesus loves each one of us—he died for all. And we now have the joy of learning to know Christ better every day.

Will you join me in this race?

I am not implying that I have already obtained it, or met my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:12-14 NIV).

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