“Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls.” -Hebrews 12:1-3 [MSG]
Running has never really been my thing; I could never quite grasp it. And because of that, I often found myself asking others how they did it. Maybe it was my logical way of thinking. In my mind, there was some formula behind it, and I was doing something wrong. I would get so entangled in the how of running that I would miss the why. And because of that, I would give up.
I’ve learned that running requires conditioning. Jogging half a mile one day and attempting a 5k the next isn’t a bright idea. But we justify things in our minds – if my friend can do it, so can I. We look at the success of their moment, and overlook the years of dedication and hard work.
This is why the Bible says to run the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus; not the person to the left or the right. There is a race marked out for each one of us; a timeline prepared by God himself. It is designed specifically for you. In your timeline there will be victories as well as challenges, but Jesus has already paved the way. The Bible says that there is nothing we go through in life that Jesus didn’t face himself. All we are called to do is run with perseverance and endurance, and conditioning ourselves as we go.
There are things that weigh us down, and hold us back; things that trip us up and cause us to fall. Kind of like wearing the wrong pair of shoes. If you’ve ever tried running in an old pair of sneakers, then I’m sure you can attest to their dysfunction. Yet, we will still try to justify why we use them-at one point they were comfortable. The shoes that were once comfortable now have worn out laces, holes in the sides, and a sole that's hanging on by a thread, and yet we still attempt to run in them. Those shoes are slowing you down, like sin tripping you up. Choose today to strip off every weight that is holding you back!
The goal is the finish line, and every goal requires strategy. We weren’t created to aimlessly walk through life. We were created on purpose and for a purpose. Jesus didn’t save us only for ourselves, He saved us to impact the lives that surround us. Your race is less about you and more about the people watching. We are called to a bigger mission- a soul saving mission. At the end of our race, we will have to give an account to the One holding our trophy. I don’t know about you, but I want to hear the words, “well done my good and faithful servant.”