In last week’s post, I was reminiscing how I ran the 400 meters on my high school track team. It’s ironic that my coach placed me in such a difficult race, because I don’t really like to run. I love basketball, but track had a social aspect that I really enjoyed; by social I mean co-ed. But despite my aversion to running, I experienced success. The training regimen my coach put me through is the reason for my many victories.
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. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2 a
The first part of the verse was covered in my last post. Today I want to talk about the next part of life’s training strategy- running our race with endurance as we focus on Jesus.
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us It was a pivotal moment when I realized that we all have our own race to run. I gave the example last time of how I envied the 100 sprinters. It was not just because their race was short , but also the excitement that went with it. Crowds love the 100 meter dash. I was a tall lanky kid, and wanted the strength and speed of a sprinter’s body. But I wasn’t created for their race, I was made for mine. That fact is true for all of us. God gave us a specific race to run, and frankly some races are harder than others. We cannot let our failures become hurdles that prevent us from running our race. My life has included many obstacles: divorce, single motherhood, job losses and financial hardship at times. But God also gave me awesome victories that would have been missed if I was focused on someone else’s life.
All the runners in a track meet set out to run, but only some of them will win a medal. When my life becomes difficult, I strive to endure with faithfulness and joy. Even when I am at the point of exhaustion. At the end of my life I just want to hear God say, “well done my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
Keeping our eyes on Jesus Runners are coached to not look to the right or left, but to fix their gaze on the track ahead of them. What if we lived our days as if Jesus was right in front of us? I wonder how different my life would look. I think I would yell a lot less at my kids, and maybe my husband! Jesus is at the finish line, and if we are a Christian the prize is eternal life. Revelation 3:21 says, “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.”