Running the Race Set Before You...and Staying in Your Lane!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so tightly, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1, ESV)
Even though the last track race I competed in was almost 40 years ago, I can still recall the feeling of nervous uncertainty in the pit in my stomach at the starting line. I gripped the baton in my right hand, anxiously awaiting the loud gun pop to start the race. I knew it was important to stay in my lane all the way around the track, eyes focused ahead, until the correct baton handoff. Looking to the side or behind me at the other runners could cause me to stumble or cross into another runner’s lane.
I experienced a similar pit in my stomach feeling recently, after my husband and I were presented with an amazing opportunity…and challenge. To join a team of World Vision runners at the Berlin marathon in Sept. 2021, with the main goal of finding child sponsors for 20 children in need.
Lord, surely You aren’t asking me to do this?
I immediately thought of reasons why this was not a good idea. After all, I haven’t done serious training in over 5 years! Could I persevere through the months of physical training, and more importantly, reach the goal of child sponsorship? I started to compare myself with others in my life, wondering how they would react. Would they think I was crazy for attempting this?
Stay in your lane.
I believe the Holy Spirit brought this passage in Hebrews 12 to my attention at just the right time. God knows that at times I struggle with staying in my lane when it comes to the faith journey. I am prone to look around me at what others are doing, or not doing, and lose focus on the “race set before me”.
In the chapter preceding this familiar passage (Hebrews 12:1-2), the writer reminds the people of faith of the faithful men and women of God who came before them. Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Rahab…each had a faith journey set before them. But no two journeys were exactly alike. Same God and Savior, different journey. However, each journey required faith in God, perseverance, and the laying aside of obstacles and sin.
As I prayed about the opportunity set before me, I was encouraged and convicted to keep my eyes focused on Jesus, and of course to stay in my lane. And that is true for each one of us as we journey together as followers of Jesus Christ.
What race is set before you today? It may be you are facing a time of change, battling a chronic illness, a relationship struggle. Are there weights and sins that you need to throw off as you run the race set before you? Our individual journeys may be different, but we can encourage one another to endure in faith, and keep our focus on Jesus. He must be the One we trust to lead us and strengthen us to run with endurance.
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105)
Dear Lord, we love You and praise You --the Founder and Perfecter of our faith! You endured the suffering of the cross for our sins, and You enable us to endure the challenges and suffering that we face on this journey of faith. Have mercy on us and guide us! Amen.