Yesterday, we ran a 5K. It was one of those races where most everyone is there just for fun. Finishers get hot chocolate and a dish of melted chocolate to dip things in. If I’m going to run a race, I prefer one where chocolate is served at the finish line.
We certainly didn’t set any records. I was feeling pretty good when I looked over and saw the 8 minute mile pacer, only to realize they were pacing the people running the 15K. They were right on pace with me except for the fact that they had run 3 times what I had. That was a tough reality check.
When I’m running (let’s be honest) jogging/walking, a verse that always come to mind is one from Hebrews. Up until this week, I didn’t have it memorized. Every time I ran a race, I’d always end up thinking, “Run with…something the race set before us… something else…author and perfecter of our faith.” I decided to memorize it this time because I can’t stand the feeling of almost remembering something. And because I could use all the scripture I can get to run a race.
So, here it is:
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Truth be told, I don’t feel too much pressure during a race to compare myself to others. I’m just not that competitive with running. This is probably because I stink. With other things I do though. I compare myself to other moms all the time. Instead of cheering for my friends when they have a parenting win, I find myself feeling like I don’t measure up. I do that with writing. When a friend gets a book published, end up thinking about my unpublished books instead of celebrating with her. And yet, the verse clearly says that we are to run the race SET BEFORE US. Maybe, part of the reason I’m not satisfied is that I’m trying to run someone else’s race. God knows the path he has for me and my job is to fix my eyes on him because he knows a thing or two about endurance.
I know this verse isn’t really about running a chocolate 5K, but it is about running toward Jesus and races happen to be a great time to think about some of the truths from the Bible. I few things I gleaned from this passage are:
1. God calls us in an individual and unique way.
2. I’ll go the right way if my eyes are on him.
3. I can trust him because he is the author and perfecter of my faith.
4. He’s the perfect example of endurance.
Yesterday, we all headed toward the same finish line. When we got there, we ate chocolate. But how we arrived varied. Some walked and some ran like they were being chased. Some took the longer 15K route. The runners were all ages and experience levels. Some people ran alone and others in groups. Some had handicaps to overcome and others didn’t. I truly believe our walk with Jesus is the same way. Each of us will have a different race with different challenges and sometimes different distances. But in the end, we will all have the same finish line and I have to say, I hope there’s chocolate when we get there.