Run Your Race
I have grown to love running! It’s certainly been a journey filled with soreness and injuries, funny colored toe nails and severe chaffing (body glide is a close friend now), breaking the budget on new running shoes, dehydration, and lying sprawled out on the tile floor in the kitchen with ice packs on my head and neck to cool down after being over heated from a summer run! I still love it! I love the cleared head space, the beauty of nature, and the challenge of pushing myself harder. The health benefits are not all that bad either since my wife seems to notice and enjoy my leaner frame!
During my first 10K race, I let adrenaline get the best of me. I was so amped that I attempted to keep up with a group of much faster runners in front of me. Instead of running my normal pace of 9 minutes per mile, I ran the first two miles in 8 minutes or less and as a result almost gave up before the race was finished. By the fourth mile, being hit by oncoming traffic didn’t seem quite so bad!
This brings to mind a valuable spiritual lesson: we each have a race that God calls us to run. If we take our eyes off of Jesus to focus on other runners, we will not run the race as well as the Lord intends. What’s worse, if our eyes are on other runners, we may be tempted to give up before we complete our race of faith. With our eyes on others we may grow bitter and discontented with the Father’s good and perfect gifts, while being jealous of what others have.
The Bible has something to say about running our race in Hebrews 12:1-2 which states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Italics added for emphasis, ESV).
The race set before us has true glory in God and is much more of a marathon than a mad dash. With our eyes on Christ, we can enjoy the journey and learn to appreciate each day as one gifted by a loving and gracious Father. Here’s a quick question for a heart check: Do you live for the weekend or do you treasure every day as one to behold, live, and to be thankful to receive? With our sights fixed on Christ, we will delight in God and find true satisfaction in Him because He has already given us His very best.
I want to conclude with a story that I heard recently that rocked my world! There was an African tribe that was given a TV to watch. For the first week, these amazing people were completely enthralled by the shows on the TV and watched it continually throughout the day. After the first week, they turned it off. When asked, “Why?” they replied, “The TV has lots of stories and programs, but we wanted to go back to our tribe’s story teller, because He knows our story, He knows us.
Will you go back to the One who knows you and fix your eyes on Him? Jesus has your story securely written by the quill of the Father’s love and He has called you by name to produce eternal results. For further encouragement, read Psalm 139 with special emphasis on verses 1-18.
Grace and peace to you!
Article by: Cameron Ashworth, M.A.
Post by: Sarah Warner, M.S.