Monday, October 14, 2013

Finishing the Race

I write this on the day after the Chicago Marathon, where many of my friends and two of my close relatives ran the race and finished it!  I cheered them on and had the joy of sharing in their incredible accomplishment.  But I was on the sidelines watching instead of running in the race.

My best laid plans to run the marathon this year had to be forsaken when a stress fracture put me on the sidelines.  I had dreamed of crossing that finish line and knowing what must be that incredible sense of satisfaction to have finished those 26.2 miles.  But my dreams were dashed, and I find I’m a little sad this morning.  I didn’t finish the race.

It brings to mind the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  I didn’t finish this marathon, but the race I really want to finish—and finish well—is the good race of faith.  I don’t want any kind of “stress fracture” to sideline me from running the race that God has set before me.

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we each have an individual race: 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

I find I must be continually intentional about throwing off the “stuff” that hinders me.  “Stuff” like laziness and distractions and materialism and pride, to name a few.  They entangle me so easily.  But if I keep my eye on the finish line and think about the great joy of crossing that line and hearing Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” then throwing off some of the “stuff” is not so hard to do.  That’s one finish line I don’t want to miss!

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