I adore sports. I take great pleasure in watching, playing, training for and talking sports. That said I never understood running as a sport. Please don’t misunderstand. I get what running is, but the question from me has always been; “Why? Why do that voluntarily? It seems like such an isolated, lonely thing for super healthy folks to do.” I am so glad to find out just how wrong I was about this sport. It began with my wife and her friends getting into it. I noticed the bond between runners was something that I had only previously seen and experienced playing football. When you start running you instantly become part of the “team.” Like any team there are star athletes and there are the rest of us. Runners encourage each other like no other sport. Runners will compete against their previously recorded best run, end being completely tired and fully alive at the same time and then moments later they are back near the end of the course encouraging other runners to finish strong.
One thing that is unique about running is that there is no “bench” for those not good enough. Everyone who trains competes. There is not the “Well, you may have shot a 2 under par that last few times out, but I am going to go with Dave in this tournament since he shot a 5 under par recently.” Everyone to the starting line, keep it going, and finish strong. It is all about finishing.
It is no wonder the author of the letter to the Hebrews compared the life of the follower of Jesus to a runner.
Chapter 12 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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
What an amazing thought to consider about life. It is a race, sometimes there will be hills and other times it will be level, but press on. When you feel like you can’t take another step fix your gaze on Jesus. He will help you get to the end and there at the finish line is a gathering of those who have gone before you cheering you on. Take another step, you are almost there, finish strong, you can do this.
I don’t know what you are facing in your race this day. It may be a climb, descent, or a seemingly endless flat road ahead far from the finish. Maybe you have found your stride, or you are simply walking it out, and maybe you are limping along. What I would love for you to know is that you are not alone. You will make it. We are in this together and I know that we will see each other at the finish line. Press on runner, finish strong!
I am praying for you today that your eyes would rise from the path to see the glory and hope that is Jesus. May you experience hope, renewal, sealed in the love of God.