Running the Good Race
Tonight my dad asked me to go for a run.
I just got back from leading a group of middle schoolers on a mission trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and my dad knew that I had a heavy weight on my heart, so he asked me to go on a run with him at 8:30pm.
My dad seemed a little bit nervous because he hadn’t gone for a run in a while, and trust me I am not much of a runner myself either. But he told me that it was okay if I got ahead of him and to just meet him at the car after I was finished.
We started off running together at the same pace, and it was so nice. It was comforting to have my dad there right beside me. But after a few minutes my dad started to get slower and slower, but I was feeling good, so I just kept running ahead and I left him behind. After another 5 minutes or so, I see my dad come out of nowhere and pass me up, what the heck! He passed me and I just couldn’t catch up to him, so I trailed behind. Eventually he burned out of energy and I saw him stop ahead of me and I realized that he was finished, totally pooped, done running for the night. But I wasn’t, I still wanted to run a whole other lap, so I just kept on going, I would just meet my dad at the car. And thats exactly what I did.
While I was cooling down and walking back to the car this passage from Hebrews 12:1-3 kept coming into mind:
“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, looking to Jesus, the founded and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
The run I had with my dad reminded me so much of what is means to follow Jesus, its ever changing, and its not always easy.
If I replace my dad with my Heavenly Father, I started my run in harmony with Him, and it was so good, so comforting to know that He was right alongside me. Then I passed my dad. Its like the time when God tells us to slow down, that things are good like they are here and now and we say, “No thanks, God, that looks a lot better up there, Im gonna hurry up and get to that because I want it now.” We feel like we’ve got it all figured out, and I think that sometimes God lets us go with it and figure it out for ourselves that we don’t have it figured out at all, that we are totally lost if we are running (or walking) without Him. And then my dad passed me! Its the times when God is saying, “Come on! Im calling you hear now, this is where I want you, you are reading for this, I have equipped you to do this!” But we say, “Heck no, I do not want to go there I am not ready, I want to stay back here where I feel safe and comfortable.” Happens all too often in our lives doesn’t it? I know it does in mine. Then my dad completely stops. And this the the unbearable seasons of our lives. When God says stop, stay exactly where you are, I want you exactly where you are for a while. And we always want to keep moving forward, because we hate staying still, theres nothing more uncomfortable than feeling like you are stuck somewhere. But these are the times that God speaks to us and teaches us what its like to press into our uncomfortable seasons, and He is there with us every step of the way.
So when we run our race of life, let us always look to Jesus, what He did for us on the cross. Think about what that means, how much love our Heavenly Father has for us. He wants the absolute best for those who love Him. So let us always run side by side with The One who is greater than all our failings, our longings, and our troubles. When we run with Him we will not grow weary or fainthearted, He will hold us up and He is with us wherever we go.