Running a 10k called Life
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This passage applies well to the Christian life. But more particularly, I find it applies well to the 10k run that Amy and I will be participating in tomorrow morning. In the previous chapter, the author of Hebrews has discussed the many Old Testament figures that ran a good race of faith. Now, these Old Testament witnesses are cheering us along in our Christian life, just like the crowd will be cheering us runners on at the race.
Like any race or athletic event, there is some preparation required. This preparation gets us physically ready for the event so that we may play at our best. The author of Hebrews calls us to do the same in life when he says to "lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us." In other words, exercise your spiritual muscles. How do we do this? We accomplish this by reading the Word of God; attending church; having an accountability partner, etc. This is not easy, nor is any other exercise, but it is necessary to the well being of the Christian life. I admit that I have not exercised enough for the race tomorrow, so I will be sore and tired. But, I hope that my walk/run with Christ is not of the same caliber as my run tomorrow.
The author exhorts us to "run with endurance." This will be difficult tomorrow as I am huffing and puffing, but I will endure to the end. In the race of life, there will be hurdles, struggles, and side-aches, yet we are called to continue. We must not give up, for Christ never gave up. The author of Hebrews makes this apparent when he says "fix your eyes on Jesus."
By keeping our eyes on Jesus, we are less likely to be distracted by what's going on around us. And He will encourage us to the finish line.
Jesus finished His race with excellence. I will not be able to say that of the race tomorrow, nor of my life. But I will be rewarded with prizes tomorrow just for participating in the race. The prizes won't be anything like Jesus received: sitting at the "right hand of the throne of God." Our Christian race ends at the throne of God. It is there that we will meet our maker and worship Him forever. Our prize is eternal life for our faith in Christ.So, lets keep running.
How is your race going? Are you running/walking with endurance? Are you exercising by reading God's word; going to church; praying, etc? Or have you been lazy and sleeping in on Sundays, watching too much TV, etc? Have you taken your eyes off of Jesus and been distracted by other things/people in life? What do you need to do to get back into the race? How can others encourage you in your run/walk with Christ? Let those around you know what you need, otherwise they cannot help.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.