My husband is a runner, he says it blows the cobwebs out of his brain and he explains to me that this is a statement only a runner would understand.
Lately he has been slightly whining (sorry hon, but it’s true…smile), about how old he feels after a run, particularly if a few days pass by with no exercise. He tells me that his body feels like it’s full of rocks. My ears take this in and my artist brain goes to work on visuals.
But my husband is far from “lumpy”! He’s in great shape, but his verbal descriptive gives me an illustrative lesson from the book of 1 Corinthians 9 and Hebrews 12.
Listen to this, ” 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 are imperishable. SO I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my BODY and KEEP IT UNDER CONTROL, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified ” (1 Cor 9:24-27).
And in Hebrews 12:1-3: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, (the writer here is speaking of the many lives of those who have since passed away, but lived lives of great faith in God, leaving us an example to follow, see Heb. 11), let us ALSO lay aside EVERY WEIGHT, and sin which CLINGS SO CLOSELY, and let us RUN WITH ENDURANCE the race that IS before us, looking to Jesus, the founder 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 God.”
What it would be like for my husband to run with a bag of rocks?
If the beauty of a run is to BECOME unencumbered, then why would a runner choose to run burdened with excess cargo?
If the word of God teaches us to “lay aside EVERY WEIGHT” SO THAT we can run with endurance, why would we choose to carry burdens?
A runner is a word picture used in the Word of God to speak of life as it was created and intended to live… without burden; a life focused and disciplined with self-control. A Life designed to “go the distance” (endurance). We are instructed to live like we know and understand that a race has already been marked out for us and that ONLY Jesus holds the finish line.
What would it look like for you to live a life trained FOR endurance? A life not sprinted, but a life strategic with intention on a long road in one direction? A life intent on ONE path, instead of two or three or..or..or (did you know that you can’t chase two rabbits?), a life FIXED on Jesus?
What is PRODUCING weight in your run?
How many scattered thoughts do you have in a day? How many “rabbits” are you chasing?
Does your life have a “motto” or theme ?
Can you identify any sin that is “clinging” to you, slowing you down, pooping you out? Is there any sin in your life that you need to admit to YOURSELF it exists? (we cannot confess and repent what we will not acknowledge as sin).
What if instead of fixing our eyes on death we fixed our eyes on Jesus? Would you run differently?
The apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the GOOD fight, I have FINISHED the race, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
“O God enable us to run this race without rocks! Enable us, equip us, strengthen us SO THAT we WILL lay aside EVERY WEIGHT and run with endurance the race marked out for us!!”
What ever the number of our days that remain whether many or few, the Word of God speaks to us all today.
How then shall we run?