Strategies For The Race

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)

I love this text and of course, God brought it to my reading just when I needed it. Sometimes, if I look at all that seems to be on my plate (which this week feels like a large turkey platter), I get overwhelmed. It’s too hard. I can’t get there from here.

This verse reminds me that my focus is myopic. I am looking at my list of things to be done and not looking at the big picture. Think about Jesus’ life. He intentionally mentored 3 people (Peter, James and John) and also coached the other 9. In addition to that, there were people he encountered that he also helped along the way. He had friendships that he maintained and there was a constant, demanding throng that were always taking from him. How did he do this?

Scripture tells us Jesus kept his eyes on the end game. He never lost sight of where he was headed. Were his days busy? Sure. Did he get tired? Yes, he did. But through all that, he stayed in touch with the Father and he stayed focused.

What drove him? We did. He knew he was headed to the cross. He knew what that looked like and the immense shame and pain that would bring but, he kept walking. He ran the race getting rid of anything that would prevent him from reaching his goal. He was looking forward to the joy he would experience when the task was finished.

Remember. Remember the love that drove him down the path of sacrifice. This will encourage you on your journey. This (He) is our example.

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT)