A Modern Parable
Jesus told lots of parables to explain the kingdom of heaven. What could be a modern-day story that could help us understand the kingdom better?
The kingdom of heaven is like a marathon runner who does not expect simply to be able to run a marathon and run fast. That would be building a foundation on simple hopes and dreams. Come race time, he will crash and burn because his foundation isn't solid.
Now, if a marathon runner sets up a training schedule, but only does half of it and expects that she'll be ready come race time, then she is also setting herself a weak foundation.
But, if a runner makes competitive decisions –- to train well and leave nothing out on the training ground, eat healthy, sleep well, and put heart and soul into running, then he or she is building a foundation on preparation, hard work, determination, and competitiveness. Such a foundation is solid and will enable the runner to accomplish even perhaps the "unattainable" while running the race.
Sam, college student
The apostle Paul affirms: "You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally" (The Message, 1 Cor 9:24, 25).
A great goal for this new year is to get a better understanding of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus gives lots of explanations in Matt 13. He also explains how the kingdom of heaven is at hand -- here and now; in fact, it's "within you" (Luke 17:21).
How can we feel and experience the kingdom of heaven within us? How can we build our lives upon the strong foundation of God so that we're aware of all the good that God is giving us? Isn't that what running this race is about? So let's discover these answers. Let's put on our running shoes and experience the harmony that the kingdom of heaven provides for us now and always.