“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
I am sure we have all ran or walked a 3 to 5K for charity at one point in our lives. I am sure I am not the only one that has a competitor’s heart that looks around at all the participants to see who is the trained runner that will win. Let’s be honest some go for fellowship, some athletes show up to try to win a trophy, and some use this as a way to continue their training for marathons for a good cause. It’s is important to see that everyone still showed up for one purpose.
When the gun goes off you begin to see the different categories of people explained above. It never fails that the trained runners inspire others to try a little harder to compete. Along the way you see those “inspired” people slow down and walk because they haven’t trained as the marathon runners have, at least they tried!
I believe there are a lot of Christians in this category today as they run their race with Jesus. Yes the 3 or 5K race as been marked out but did you run your pace or try to run someone else’s pace for an earthly prize? We are so caught up in a world that hinders us from following the path marked out just for you because we took our eyes and focus off Him. Whether it is sin, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a broken friendship, a broken marriage, or family issues.
Jesus knew His race from the beginning and never lost sight of the finish line. Jesus still had tons of obstacles and hardships along the way but He never changed His pace for anyone. Even His parents, “When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.” Luke 2: 48-50
He started at a young age following His path and not taking His eyes off His Father. We are not born for a certain school, job, or sport. We are born for one reason and that is to glorify God in everything we do. We choose our school, job, or sport. While some pray about those decisions, others choose on their own interest. Our job, no matter what we get paid for, is sharing His life to bring others to Christ. The race route has been set for us before we are born. In the beginning we are trained under our parents on how that race in run. As we grow up our friends, coaches, and mentors play a vital role in how we run. Then there comes a time when we are all old enough to decide how we are going to run our race.
This brings us to the main point, we either run for ourselves or we run for Jesus. These are the only two options. It’s doesn’t matter how old you are right now as you read this. You can decide to change who you are running for, before you can run for Jesus you have to throw off everything that hinders you. You have to set your eyes on Jesus and get into His Word so you can understand and find your new pace. Yes, everything might change because you changed. When we truly follow Jesus, we are no longer living our life for earthly people, but for Jesus. Our hearts and minds are changed, and people will notice!
There will still be challenges along the way after you change your mindset. Remember Jesus had many obstacles but He finished His race with eyes fixed on His Father! Do not lose heart when you face challenges! This is when your endurance really begins to grow and show how committed you are to Jesus’ pace for your life. It is very easy to change your mindset to Jesus but to live it out is a lot harder, because you have to trust while living by faith.
Marathon runners train for months to years for certain races. Never get discouraged, there will be easy times along with hard times as you change your life for Jesus. It is all worth it! As you run your pace you will see things differently. You will notice people, nature, your true calling, your next move, and this is all because you are now running for Jesus. Enjoy your new pace and never give up!