Posted by: Jo | April 27, 2007

Running the race of life

Have you noticed lately the ever-increasing number of T-shirts that have written messages on them?

When I was a little girl, boys wore shirts and girls wore blouses and brand names were firmly fixed inside at the back of the garment. To display the manufacturer’s name on the front of any form of clothing would have been very poor taste, even though one might hope someone would guess how expensive it was. The great influx of unisex dressing had not arrived so most of my age group was ill-prepared for this new form of dressing in which it is appropriate to give the fashion houses free advertising and to display to the world where you have traveled to and what your opinions are on any topic under the sun.

Some of the inscriptions are genuinely funny, some are downright vulgar, some, to be fair, are promoting a worthy cause, but others make you wonder if we have forsaken all sense of good taste. I have noticed that many of the t-shirts speak of competing in races. Some of them proclaim that the wearer had been a participant in a very prestigious world-renowned marathon. Others make note of local races in which the participant had earned the right to wear the T-shirt as evidence of his/her prowess.

As I was pondering this public display of running skills, I was reminded how in Scripture life is described as a race in which every human takes part. A race in which how you run is of the utmost importance. Life is definitely a long-distance run, not a short sprint in which we give all and then rest on our laurels, but a race that is dependent on us, the runners to do the best we can.

The writer of Hebrews talks about running with perseverance, “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (Hebrews 12:1). Sometimes our race becomes bogged down by our own negative thoughts that invade our minds and whisper to us how badly we are coping compared to others. Sometimes we embroil ourselves in unhealthy pursuits which slow us down and add burdens to our backs which make it impossible to run joyfully.

Scripture talks about those negative statements and pursuits as hindrances that entangle us and hinder us from claiming victory on the path God has chosen for us.

Victory in this mighty race of life rests with the realization of why we are running. If we are running aimlessly with no sense of direction, the race is arduous and unfulfilling and our life becomes a daily grind of meaningless tasks, but if we “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:2) our life takes on a whole different perspective. It is remarkable how smooth the path becomes when the way is lit by His light.

Others accompany us on this long run and when we are not absorbed totally with all our own cares, we can slow down and take note of those who are having a struggle keeping up. God calls us to make level paths for our feet (Hebrews 12:32). Our upright behaviour will encourage others to stay on the right path and we are urged to consider how we can spur one another on towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). We are particularly told to be ever ready to hold out a helping hand to orphans, widows, the disabled and the poor who are so often brushed aside by the uncaring fitter runners.

The prize for persevering in this race with Jesus as our coach is indeed a worthy one: “Because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him,” (James 1:12).

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Responses

  1. Well my dad is the best you gotta know that to know him

    Like

  2. Looks great Mum – can’t wait to see more from you.

    Love,
    Sam

    Like

    • Thank you, Darling. Isn’t Shaun incredible !!!

      Like


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