God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ – which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.
Ephesians 1:9-10 NLT
Blinkers are used to help keep a horse focused on the path ahead, limiting their peripheral vision to avoid distractions. Wearing blinkers can reduce vision from as much as 180 degrees to as little as 30 degrees. Every trainer must know each horse and work to maximise their useful impact, which is why only some racehorses wear blinkers in a race.
I was blinkered in my first flush of Christian enthusiasm. I ran fast and focused, only slowly becoming aware that life was a marathon and not a sprint. As I encountered more challenges in my life, I began to run out of steam. Energy levels dropped. I was aware Christian discipleship was not quite as simplistic as I’d assumed. I knew where I was headed, but could not know the length of my race. Keeping going, when wearied by life experience, proved increasingly difficult.
St Paul instructs us that life is a race (Acts 20:24) and that we are in it to win it (1 Corinthians 9:24). It was at this stage in my life that God now removed the blinkers, and with my spiritual peripheral vision I saw that mortality invites me to see challenge as opportunity. This I can only do through God’s grace. For there is nothing I face in life that Jesus has not himself faced.
Ageing, I’ve found, brings its own benefits drawn from experience. I can see the fragility of human existence and humanity’s need for God more clearly. The blinkers are off.
Can you see the course you are to run? How are your stamina levels?
God, my trainer, please help me in the race of life to run with stamina and perseverance to the very end.