Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
These verses makes me think of Hubs. He is training for a marathon right now. He goes for some ridiculously long runs on Saturdays, and without the goal of the upcoming race it would be hard for him to get out there and put the miles in. When he goes on a run he lays aside all the troubles of the day. He pushes towards his goal and he runs.
He's also been in college for 7 years with the goal of becoming a dentist. There have been tough days and weeks. He's jumped through the hoops of the education system and he's pushed through these past years with a goal. A goal that seemed so far off it would never be within an arms reach as it is today.
Yes, Hubs has taught me a lot about endurance when I am much more of a sprinter. I have bursts where I read my Bible, I pray every day, I am bold about my faith and my beliefs. Then I get tired and I stop to rest instead of pushing through.
These verses remind me that I can't live my christian life with all my sin weighing me down. I would tire quickly from the load. Hubs can't run as well with his hiking boots and heavy clothes - he'd get tired too fast and would never make it the full distance. Instead, he sheds the heavy shoes and wears the lightest clothing possible so he can keep going. I must leave my burdens behind, too, if I ever plan to go the full distance.
They remind me that I must look towards a goal. It's hard to motivate and push yourself without a goal in sight. Hubs wouldn't be running such long distances if he didn't have a race coming up. Without a goal, if he got tired, he could just quit early since there was no reason to run so far. Much the same, if I am not looking towards Jesus, I can easily get sidetracked and start walking...maybe even stop.
Last night I was running on the treadmill. I set a time goal. I was going to run 20 minutes at a certain speed without stopping (I had already done 20 minutes on the eliptical). The first 13 minutes sped by. I looked straight ahead and cranked my music up loud. Then, it started getting boring. I started glancing at the time. My stride faltered and I told myself to stop at 15 minutes instead.
Then, I remembered my goal. Twenty minutes. Non-stop. I looked straight ahead. I got back into my groove, and I pushed through those last five minutes. I met my goal.
When the times come that I lose sight of my goal to glorify the Lord with my life, my stride falters and I get weary. I decide to stop and rest, and then it is hard to get going again. So, I put it off to another day, and another. Soon, I'm out of shape, I have all my heavy clothes back on, and I want to try and sprint to catch up on all I missed.
I'm reminded today that I can run without the heavy burdens of my life. I can run with endurance only by looking to Jesus who endured so much more that I ever will.
And He did it all for me.