The Last Dash
Scripture Reading — Hebrews 12:1-3
Surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses ... let us run with perseverance ... Hebrews 12:1 —
I admire athletes who can keep their cool amid thousands of spectators. I cannot imagine the pressure of sinking a winning free throw in a championship basketball game while the crowd roars in the background. Not all athletic events draw gigantic crowds, but there is one in which an audience is unavoidable. It's the race of Christian discipleship. As I run this race, I know others are watching me. And they aren't just my neighbors and friends. As Hebrews describes it, I am running the race of faith before a vast crowd of believers who ran the race before me. The Bible doesn't draw this picture to intimidate us. It presents this vision to encourage us. Those who have already finished the course received the spiritual stamina to cross the finish line. And so will we. But we don't always feel sure of that. Some of us have been running the race of faith a long time, and we are tired. God promises not to give us more than we can handle, but at times there are so many problems that threaten us. What's to keep us going? "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus," says Hebrews. A runner fixes his or her eye on the finish line. So we fix our eye on the One who is the very source and goal of our faith. Be assured that your Savior will give you the daily strength to hold on as you look to him.
Lord, "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [we] press on toward the goal ... for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ." Amen.