“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #103
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (1 Cor. 9:24).
This verse can only be understood as high paradox. Paul has just finished saying that he becomes as a Jew to let the Jews go first, and he becomes like one without the law to let those without the law go first. He becomes weak, so that the weak might be gained. He wants the weak to go ahead of him—they are more important to him than he is. He does all this for the sake of the gospel, so that they can all partake together. So, he wants them all to go ahead of him, and he also wants all them to arrive together.
And he does this because only one takes the prize, only one national anthem is played, only one gold medal is handed out, and Paul wants to run in such a way as to be that one who wins that prize. Moreover, he tells the Corinthians that they should each run with that same goal in mind.
The only conclusion I can draw is that this is a very strange race indeed, one in which the last are first.