Article by Jon Bloom; author, board chair, and co-founder of Desiring God.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
Jesus has called you to run a race. It’s a faith race. It’s long-distance and multi-terrain.
And you’ve been trying to run but you’re wondering why it’s so hard. Why do you get winded so quickly? Why are others running at a faster pace? What’s wrong?
Could it be that you’re not taking this race seriously enough? You can tell by how much extra weight you’re trying to run with.
“Jesus has called you to run a race. It’s a faith race. It’s long-distance and multi-terrain.”
An endurance race is hard enough when you’re running light. But it’s far harder, and often impossible, if you’re trying to run while lugging around extra stuff. Competitive long-distance runners lay aside everything except what’s absolutely necessary.
That’s what you need to do too. Because the stakes of winning or losing this race are far higher than an Olympic marathon.
Winning your race is going to require intentionality, focus, and training. That’s why Paul wrote,
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly . . . [but] I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)