Wednesday, March 2, 2016
The Ultimate Race
Two of my passions are running and Bible study. One of my favorites texts is Hebrews 12:1-2 which reads "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off ever 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. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith."NLT
I enjoy running as part of my weekly routine, but racing is much more of a challenge. It takes a significant amount of time, focus, dedication, and determination. When I go for a casual run it's relatively easy, but when I race, or do speed work, it's really hard! I never reach a point where it becomes easy. Though I become stronger and faster, it's never easier, because otherwise I wouldn't be giving it my all. There are times when I feel I can't continue on, but I do; and when I push through and achieve my goal it's really rewarding.
Similarly, in our Christian race intentionality, dedication, determination, and focus are vital. However, I feel the temptation to "quit" is more subtle. We don't recognize it. We slowly drift off course becoming distracted by life's other pressing issues. We are likely still running, perhaps even racing, but we've lost sight of Jesus and are no longer running the race God has set before us. Since Jesus is the champion who has gone before us, is the only one who was (and is) victorious over sin and death, and He initiates and perfects our faith, we are completely dependent on Him.
I am dedicating this blog to all my fellow runners who are running the ultimate race, seeking victory in their struggle against sin. I hope you will find the content inspiring, challenging, thought provoking, and most of all encouraging as you seek to fix your eyes on Jesus and run the race set before you. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 9:25-26 that "All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step."
I read for the first time very recently the poem "The Race". I won't quote it here, but I hope you will click on the link above and check it out. It's a really awesome poem about getting up each time you fall down and finishing the race you've started. My prayer for you is that you may "Run on!" rising each time you fall and never give up the pursuit of the finish.