Over the past few months I have picked up a new habit. Thankfully it is a habit for my good. I have started running. I do mean physically running. That may shock some of you who know me. It has not been easy especially when I first started. I literally thought I would pass out after running a minute and a half. Thankfully, I didn’t stop that first day out. I saw some results with my endurance and energy level fairly quickly. Since that time, I finished my first 5K race and I plan to continue running even more.
I wanted to write about something that happened during the 5K race and maybe you can relate even if you are not a runner. The race started later than anticipated because the police who would direct traffic had not arrived on time. I was already nervous and that just prolonged it. All of the runners and walkers had some extra time to stretch and warm-up so I guess that made up for it. Once the police arrived we were off. I was in the back of the pack. I started with my running and continued to follow the path laid before me. There were a few more hills than I had anticipated but I pressed on. As I came running towards the finish line I saw my husband and kids waving and cheering for me. I was really surprised once I saw I had made it with relative ease. I even questioned if it was really the finish line. I ran through it and finished in great time.
Now I need to share the outcome of the 5K. Once all the runners crossed the finished line we were all told over the speaker that the race had been a ½ mile short of a full 5K. The lead runners had turned down a wrong path and guess what the rest of us did? Followed.
I was disappointed but I didn’t ask if I could run an additional ½ mile to make up for it.
God’s Word is full of many, many verses about “running the race” While they are all wonderful the Holy Spirit prompted me to write about Hebrews 11:39-12:2: “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect. 12:1 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, 2 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.”
The book of Hebrews was written to a church that was getting old and was settling into the world. They were starting to drift through life without focus, without vigilance, and without energy. Their hands were growing weak, their knees were feeble. It was just easier to meander in the crowd of life than to run the marathon. Chapters 2 through 5 speak repeatedly about the coasting mode the believers had settled into.
When the book of Hebrews approaches chapter 12 it is clear what the writer is saying, RUN!
Run the race set before you! The path is laid out. Don't stroll, don't meander, don't wander about aimlessly. Run as in a race with a finish line and with everything hanging on it.
Hebrews 12:1: “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,”
This is a command to look at your life, think hard about what you are doing, and get ruthless about what stays and what goes. Do not be easily led down a path that turns your heart toward the things of the world.
As a follower of Christ, we must seek hard after Him! We are not to be lackadaisical in our walk or should I say run with the Creator and Savior of the world. He will not lead you down the wrong path. You will finish the race!