Are you a runner? I have said on more than one occasion I only run if someone is shooting at me. In reality, I have been known to run, but I simply do not care for it at all, especially when I can reach the same destination by walking.
My younger brother, Steve, is an Iron Man. Four years ago this month in Florida I watched him complete the race. It was an amazing accomplishment and fascinating to watch. He swam 2 miles, biked 113 miles then ran 26.2 miles all in the same day because he wanted to do it. CRAZY! I truly think people who put themselves through that kind of agony are nuts.
I captured his race on film for him. I would snap a couple of pictures at one point, then jump in the car and race ahead to meet him at another stop. Several of the pictures show his concentration and determination written all over his face. He’s actually only looking at me in one shot. Every other picture shows him focused on the road before him. His goal was to complete the race- to cross the finish line- and he kept his focus there throughout the entire race, no matter how difficult it was from time to time.
Our goal is Jesus. Philippians 3:14 says “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Just as Steve had to keep the finish line in his mind’s eye throughout the Iron Man race, we must keep Jesus in our mind’s eye in the race of life. Hebrews 12:2 says “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus endured a lot to get to heaven to open the door for us to enter. He endured far more than you or I could imagine, yet He did it willingly to have relationship with us eternally.
Sometimes, we feel like we can’t endure what we are facing. During those times, the Lord builds us up and strengthens us through the body of Christ [Proverbs 27:17]. Just knowing someone else is for us, cheering us on can spur us to go the distance [Ecclesiastes 4:9].
As I’ve said, I don’t like to run; however, I did run a 5K back in the spring for Not For Sale. It was for a good cause and I was able to walk and run the course. As I drew closer to the finish line, I heard music playing and cheering. People who didn’t know me, who had already made it to the finish line were standing there cheering me on. It sparked something inside of me and caused me to run harder and faster than I thought I could.
As believers, we need to remember we have a crowd of believers who have gone on before us who have crossed the finish line and they are cheering us on. Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Each one of us has a race the Lord has put before us. We’ll encounter others along the way, but the race we are running is our race, marked out by God for us to run. It’s your time. What are you waiting for? Run, Forrest, run!