I’ve been thinking about the race. It’s the race you and I are in as followers of Jesus. I am running hard but not to defeat you. I am running at a pace I must maintain because I don’t even know how long I have to run. It could be that the race will end soon or go on for decades. I am trying to be and stay completely untangled with other runners and the obstacles on the course I run. I hope that none of the stuff I threw off while racing tripped up anyone else.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
I have found that if my eyes wander onto other runners I stumble and I have tripped a few times. I find if I keep my eyes locked on the Grand Marshall of this race I run quite smoothly even though there are snares and traps set to mess me up. I really desire to get to the finish line and be where the Grand Marshall lives. The thought of being in His house for a really long stay thrills me, so I keep running the race. I keep hearing loud applause for all of us running the race but I can’t see those that are cheering us on; they seem to be watching us closely but I don’t see their faces.
The Grand Marshall was given his honorable position for He ran this race before us. In fact He ran a perfect race with incredible threats and attacks from His adversaries that did all they could to prevent Him from finishing well. His victory will never be matched and I run to give Him further honor and glory. All the runners run to give Him glory, no prizes for us, just some temporary crowns soon to be cast down at His feet.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2