Date: Thursday, October 31
Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-3
Verse: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2a)
No matter how hard I have tried, I have never liked running. As a youth I had to run for conditioning as part of the soccer and baseball teams. I viewed this as a necessary evil, never something I enjoyed. I can still remember being punished for laughing on the bench of a baseball practice by the coach saying to me and the teammate who was laughing with me, “You two. Run until I tell you to stop.” Without saying a word, we got up and started running laps for the rest of the practice. Later, in adulthood, I decided to get in shape by running every day. Every morning I would wake up to go for a run, waiting for that moment of exhilaration when I would get a “runner’s high.” After a year, I gave up. It never came. I don’t like running. I still consider it a punishment.
But I loved playing soccer. I could run for an entire soccer game, chasing after the ball. When we play softball, although I still don’t like the running, somehow I don’t mind running to second after a solid hit. I’m not going to be entering into a 5k anytime soon, but apparently I can run, when there is something to run after (or, I assume, from).
From today’s passage, I’m guessing Paul was not a runner either, as he doesn’t ask us to run with “joy” the race that is set before us. Rather he calls on us to run it with “perseverance.” The motivation is two-fold. One, we run because we are part of a team, the “cloud of witnesses,” presumably those who have run the race before us. Secondly, we run because we have a goal – to live like Jesus, to follow in his footsteps.
When we become discouraged in our faith journeys, it is good to remember both of those things: (1) we are part of the “cloud of witnesses” team who is cheering us on and counting on us; and (2) our journey leads to become more like Christ. We are never running alone.
Prayer: Keep me on course, O God. Amen.
Action: Reflect on those in the “cloud of witnesses” who inspire you.
Respond: Is there an activity you have tried to like, but never could? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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