Hebrews 12:1-2a (New Living Translation) –
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
During the Olympics, 100 meters short distance sprinters like Usain Bolt receive a lot of attention in the news, and the 100 meters final race is one of the most watched event on TV all over the world. On the other hand, the Marathon, the 42 kilometers race, which tests the endurance of athletes to persevere pain is not as popular.
The 100 meters race last only for about 10 seconds inside the stadium; the Marathon last for about 3 hours and the athletes run through the city, sometimes on lonely roads, only ending up in the stadium. While 100 meters runners are often excited and playful on winning a race, the Marathoners show calm and thoughtfulness.
There are those moments when life is like the 100 meters race, we want to get things done quick, fast, with plenty of excitement along the way. However, there are also those times when we realize that a task we want to achieve in life is going to be a Marathon, requiring endurance, calm, and and plenty of thoughtfulness.
The Christian faith is described the Bible like a Marathon – a long race not a short sprint; it requires endurance on the part of believers to take it one day at a time, with plenty of calmness and thoughtfulness; there will be lonely sections when you want to quit – persevere! persevere!! persevere!!!
Many have run this long race, and reached the finished line; the above passage from Hebrews 12, refer to them as ‘a huge cloud of witnesses‘. Jesus also came to earth and ran the long race, with great endurance and perseverance; he is our champion, very well able to train and equip us for success.
Father in Heaven, give us equal or greater endurance compared with Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Peter, and Paul – witnesses who have run the long race of the Christian faith, and are now cheering for us running our own long race, Amen!