Running the Race before Us
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
-Hebrews 12:1 (KJV)
Edwin Moses glided fluidly over the track of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. He had no idea he was being watched by someone who had no idea who he was. The power of his stride captivated the observer who was dazzled. Though the spectator didn’t know the runner, he was awed by what he saw.
The observer was playing tennis with a friend and asked, “Who is that?”
”That’s the Olympic hurdler Edwin Moses,” the friend said. “Allegedly he practices over here because Oglethorpe has the best track surface in the area.”
With no knowledge of the person he saw running, the observer saw someone special and knew it. In his career, Edwin Moses won 107 consecutive finals and set the record for the 400m hurdles four times. And even a person who did not know who he was saw someone special.
Surely, Christ was the same way. He exuded something different to those who observed Him and was different from the typical person. If Edwin Moses could manage to touch a naive life with the power and authority of his athleticism, surely Christ would/could manage to touch lives, as well.
The Holy Spirit is about the presence of God. People are thus touched by that presence. And in the race of life, which will eventually end, only One sets the pace of victory: Jesus Christ. We who are on the track stand in awe of what we see. It is He who enables us to run at all. It is a race of faith that takes us to eternal life through God’s wondrous hand.
In a lot of ways, the experience of faith may be like a race. The athlete has to practice to compete. That practice may be grueling in nature at times. The athlete may experience boredom. There may be pain or injuries that need to be dealt with. In the spiritual race, the injury – the distraction – is sin. There is temptation, doubt, fear, rebellion and disinterest that may sideline the believer. But it continues to be Christ who sets the pace and who calls us back onto the track. His life, death and resurrection are the victory over sin and death that wins the race.
1. What experiences have interfered with your race in God?
2. Who have you found on the team that has been helpful in keeping you in the race?
3. What have you done to improve your faith as you race through life?
1 Corinthians 9:24
2 Timothy 4:7