Run the Marathon of Life with the Great Marathon Runners of the Past
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2)
I have run 10 marathons- 7 Chicago, 2 Boston, and 1 New York City. Each of these have been very distinct and amazing experiences.
I run marathons because the Bible tells me that Jesus himself was a marathon runner.
I run marathons because the Bible points out many, many, people, who were great marathon runners. These people looked at their life as a marathon run. These people looked at their vocation and mission in life as a marathon run.
This Bible Plan is about learning from these people and learning from Jesus. We will learn from the life of Jesus, and the lives of all these great “marathon runners” how to run this marathon course called life.
In this Bible Plan, Hebrews 12:1, 2 will be the central text. This central text teaches us seven lessons about this marathon run called Life. In the first seven posts, I will comment on each of these.
The first lesson we learn from this central text is this.
Take a deep breath. You are not the first marathon runner.
There are many others, throughout the history of humanity who have run the marathon of life. The section which precedes this central verse, Hebrews 11, gives us some names of the great marathon runners of life. These are amazing people like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and the such.
In this Bible Plan we will learn from these runners.
The Greek text of the Bible makes it clear that they are not merely onlookers, as the English translation seems to suggest.
One of the problems which I see in sports like football, or baseball or hockey is related to this understanding- being a spectator. There are a few people- athletes, who sweat it out and play the game. And, then there are 40,000 or 60,000 or more who are spectators. They do not participate in the sport. They just scream and shout and holler- sometimes very bad words, while the few play the real sport.
The Greek word here refers to participatory runners.
In a very real sense, they are fellow runners who are cheering us on in our marathon run of life, today.
In the Bible, history and historical people are not merely events and people of the past. Today, we run alongside and participate in their run, and they participate in our life run, today.
This is a crucial perspective on history, and very pertinent to our marathon run called Life.
Oh LORD help me run this race, encouraged by the great marathon runners of history!