Have you ever seen a marathon? Or perhaps participated in a race? Of course the goal is to reach the finish line (hopefully placing in 1st), but what would happen if the runners took their "eyes" off the goal? Stopping for tacos at the taco truck and watching a Star Wars marathon at the theatre along the way would derail everything they worked to achieve.
When Jesus was alive on earth he knew he had a limited amount of time, but never seemed to be in hurry. Yet somehow he stayed focused on his "race" and did exactly what he came here to do: reach people in significant ways, get to the Cross, die and rise again.
In the middle of it, we catch glimpses of how he recentered and maintained his focus on the end goal. Mark 1:35 tells us that he spent quiet time with his father, praying and talking to God. He would often go off by himself seeking solitude and encouraged his disciples to pray and do the same. His was a hard task to accomplish but his relationship with God helped him along the way.
The same can be true for us, when we remain focused on our devotion to God we are focused to help others and ourselves. Our race isn't over and his gifts to us last an eternity. We will be better equipped to do the work he has called and created us to do and stay the course. But in this race, there is more than one winner. As Paul writes to the early church in Corinth, we are not competing with other Christ-followers but empowering one another.
Read the verses below and then discuss with your parents or other trusted adult. What are ways to remain focused on your relationship with God? What can you do each day or every week? What benefits do you think you will see?