“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
I like to run. I may even call myself a runner. I run a little over 3 miles 4 or 5 times a week. So I guess that constitutes being a runner.
But then I met thousands of people who descended upon our area to run a marathon or a half-marathon. In case you don’t know, that’s 26.2 miles or 13.1 miles of running – at one time.
After two days of talking with and watching these runners, I began questioning my abilities, wondering why I don’t run at least a half. I was in awe of them and a bit jealous of them as well, I will honestly admit.
We get like this in all areas of our lives, don’t we? We notice Super Christian at church and wonder why we didn’t get those gifts and talents. We see our past and think that God could never use our messiness to further His kingdom. We respectfully speak with the men and women who have served the Lord faithfully for decades and hope that we can be as strong.
The writer of Hebrews says that since we are surrounded by a large crowd of faithful witnesses, we can just run! Others have paved the course for us. This “race”, our life with God, is not a competition to see who comes in first. God simply wants us off the bench and in the race, living our life as a witness for Christ’s saving power and doing our best with what God has given us.
And we begin running when we let God into our lives. And our endurance comes from allowing God to lead us and direct our steps. We let go of our past that holds us back, we drop the guilt that adds extra unnecessary weight on us, we start living for God and embrace the life He has for us.
And we run.
We run when trials come. We run when we are exhausted and feel that we will never get through this pain. We run when it’s raining and we run when the sun is shining. We run and keep our eyes on the prize – eternal life with God.
And we recruit others to run with us. We show how much fun running is, how abundant life is when God is in it, we embrace grace and give it freely. We love, love, love others.
I’m not the fastest runner, but I intend to stay in the race my entire life. Will you join me?