“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Thought for the day:
By the time this devotion posts, I will be readying myself to run my twenty second marathon, the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Running a marathon is an experience that allows me to test the limits of my physical endurance, something that I have never get tired of doing. I am, again, looking forward to the challenge but wonder if I will find it worth the attempt.
Many hours went into preparing for this one day and I must admit, the closer it gets, the more anxiety I find building within myself despite the fact that I know I have given all I have to give in preparation for the event. I have not trained flawlessly, I have chided myself throughout parts of the training regimen for not doing better, and my weaknesses will be laid bare on the course. I know where I will have trouble in the race and what conditions I will need to perform adequately, some of which are beyond my control to influence.
Furthermore, I know that regardless of what happens, this race is my race. No one can run it for me. No one can suffer the course for me, and no one can share the pain. It is up to me and me alone. That said, I am not alone, I know that many from the congregation are planning to surround me with a blanket of prayer to aid me in my adventure. Susan and some friends will be there to cheer me on as I pursue the 26.2 mile challenge, and another friend will be there running the course as well. We will encourage each other and in the end, I will finish the race. Of that, I have no doubt.
So it is with the race of faith. The race of faith is laid out on this wonderful experience we call life. It allows us to search the limits of our spiritual endurance, something that many of us have never attempted before, others never tire of doing. As Christians, we spend our entire lives preparing for one day, the day we come face-to-face with our loving God. As that day gets closer, more and more anxiety builds up within us. We realize that none of us have trained flawlessly for the race of faith. Every day that we are honest with ourselves, we can look at our lives and chide ourselves for not doing better. We know where our weaknesses are, though admitting them is often difficult.
The question we must ask, however, is: Have I given all that I have to give in preparation for that day when I come face to face with God? The race of faith is an individual race; no one can run it for another. We will face conditions that are completely beyond our control, some of which will enhance our performance and some of which will harm our performance. Regardless, the race of faith is our and ours alone. Where will God fit into our lives? The joy is that, though the race is ours alone, we need not race alone. Christ has given us the church, a family of faith to surround us with blankets of prayer, to cheer in the midst of our victories and to cry with us in the midst of our defeats. With others living the gospel and encouraging those around them every step of the way, there is no doubt that we will all finish the race of faith and hear the wonderful words of life: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Prayer for the day:
God of glory, in the race of life, we need not race alone. You are with us every step of the way. Thank You! Amen.