“and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1c)
I am not a runner. In fact, I’ve been known to jokingly say that running may be a sin since the Bible never portrays Jesus as running anywhere:). Despite not being a runner, I do know a bit about running races. As Hebrew 12:1 states, as a Christian, I am on a race to eternity and I’m called to run it well.
Unfortunately, I struggle with the “endurance” part. Looking back, it is easy to see that I have lived my life as a series of intensive sprints, some longer, some shorter. As one can imagine, a lifestyle of sprints easily produces rest and recovery periods that get shorter and less restful–there is always another race to run. I couldn’t possibly finish well if I never stopped.
While I’m still learning on this one, I have learned a few things to help me finish my most important race.
Eternal Perspective: I have learned that the most important race is the one Hebrews mentions. To run that race with endurance, I need to keep my eyes on the real finish line–eternal life in heaven with my Lord and Savior.
Remember for Whom I Work: As a recovering perfectionist and workaholic, I tend to easily shift my focus to people-pleasing. I want people to think I’m capable, responsible, and trustworthy and I really want to see others happy. When I remember who my real boss is (Colossians 2:23-24), that my work is a sacrifice and offering of worship to Him (Romans 12:1-2), and from whom I get my strength (Phil. 4:13), even the longest, most difficult race loses its difficulty.
Let God Be in Charge: It took me a long time to realize that I’m just a frail human who struggles like everyone else. Once I realized that, something I often need to be reminded of, I was able to realize two things. First, I have to break life down into manageable pieces. Taking in the whole picture and trying to solve everything at once is too much for not only my mind but also my spirit. I wasn’t designed to be the “master of the universe” and therefore, I shouldn’t try to act like I was. Second, I’m not the only one in God’s army. In fact, not only are there others in the army, he has strategically placed soldiers close to me to offer help, support, and guidance.
In a nutshell, to finish well we need to keep our eyes on the goal (heaven), remember who is coaching us (God), and let God take the lead (Whew! I don’t have to be in charge!!).
Life is a struggle. We would love to hear how you support your ability to finish well!
Contributed by Liz Hunt