Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
Several years ago, I signed up to run my first 25K race. I knew I couldn't do it alone, so I trained with some more experienced runners. We would wake up early, while it was dark, and get out on the course. The terrain was often challenging, the weather unpredictable, and we never knew when we would face a strong headwind or sudden downpour. Many times my legs grew tired, and I wanted to give up. Fortunately, my fellow runners encouraged me in those moments when I was tempted to quit.
The writer of Hebrews said the Christian life is like an athlete running a race in a stadium, straining forward and pressing on with endurance. Verses 1-2 call us to lay down our heavy burdens and throw off the sin that entangles us, and to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. Because the living Jesus has already gone before us and finished the race we too can run with resilience; and he now runs with us, picks us up when we fall down, and if necessary, carries us over the finish line.
We all have a race set before us, and it is ours to run. But we never run alone. Christ is with us, and he strengthens us with the community around us. Where are you fixing your eyes today? And who's running with you? --Rev. Brian Keepers
As you pray, thank God for the community around you and ask him to keep your eyes fixed on Christ.