Paul had a profound sense of the one who had called him, the God to whom he had committed his life. Paul knew God not as an abstraction or a vague idea. He knew Him as his trainer, teammate, and judge. Paul was sure that God's grace would carry him across the finish line as a winner. He could almost feel the gold medal on his chest, could see the laurel wreaths being placed on his head, could hear the cheers of those whose opinion really counts. And you and I need that kind of anticipation in our lives, too.
Most athletes know what I am talking about. Studies of winners show that before they ever head for the track or the ball field or the gridiron, many of them in their own minds will see themselves performing, effortlessly, flawlessly. The decathlon participant will see himself clearing the hurdles. The wideout will hear the crowd cheering as he catches the winning pass, the swimmer will feel herself touching the wall just before her competitor. They all will experience the thrill of winning in their hearts long before it actually happens before crowds of spectators.
Our spiritual ancestors knew about such things. They sang, "When we all get to heaven..." and they had a feel for that great day about which they sang. Do you feel yourself heaven bound this day? It will make a difference how you live in this world if you do.