There was a film released in the early eighties called Chariots of Fire. It followed the story of two English athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics in France. Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who ran for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, a Jew who ran to overcome prejudice. These runners sought to complete the race, without compromising on their values.
Today passage we see Paul continuing on his travels. He has a longing to arrive in Jerusalem by the day of Pentecost. But before departing he had a final talk with the elders from Ephesus. You can see the qualities of Paul’s character, his sense of responsibility and care for others. We read, v24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Paul is not focused on himself, but on completing the race Jesus has set before him. The focus is not on him, his life is not the centre, testifying the good news of God’s grace is.
Paul warns the believers to keep focused on the race before them. To watch out for those who would distort the truth (v30) and not to get distracted with things of this world (v33). Paul prays for them as they go. I imagine Paul’s greatest desire for them would be similar to what he expressed to Timothy, that they would fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). Pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom and strength as you run the race.