“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 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 the throne of God.”Hebrews 12:1-2
“Let us run”
And run they did.
Feet pounding the manicured golf course, pulses pounding their veins even harder. One foot in front of the other, in front of the other, in front of the other, past nearly leafless trees over the constant up and down of the sloping course. It was the end of the first mile where you could really see the strong ones.
Out in front
Feet pounding steady
Legs and arms moving in constant rhythm
Looking ahead…always ahead
I never ran cross country in high school, but from what my sister tells me, you never, ever, ever look to the side. Just that tiny movement will slow you down, will put you out of pace. While you are looking at someone else, your eyes aren’t fixed on the goal, and a moment off of the goal is worth seconds on the clock…and when you’re running, seconds are hours.
Your eyes must stay forward…on the goal.
And that goal? For some it’s a time on the clock or a spot on the podium or a scholarship to that college. For others its the pride in their parents’ eyes or the word of praise from their coach or the look of defeat in their opponent’s face. But somewhere behind it all, it usually boils down to being the best.
You want to win, because you want to be the best.
And being the best, is a myth.
I watched dozens and dozens of runners flying past on that course and none of them are the best. Maybe they are the best in their school or their league or even all of the state…but they are never truly the best.
Because only one can ever be the best and only ever sometimes, never always. And even if it’s always, that “always” usually won’t even last a lifetime before someone else snatches that best away.
So what is the point in the goal? Or is there another goal worth having?
“I just want to run my best for His glory.”
Those words became the anthem of her season. Don’t push the numbers or the place or the trophy or the awards. Yes, those are nice. But the ultimate goal, the one prize that will never let us down, is His glory.
Because if it’s not for Him then it’s just for you and you aren’t worth more glory and pursuit and worth and focus than God.
And there’s only One who truly finished with endurance.
And if you’re running for Him anyways then your endurance is a tiny shadow of the endurance He showed and the race He ran. And Him? He ran it for you.
He ran it to rescue you.
He ran it to restore you.
He ran it to share His glory with you so that in your glory He might be glorified all the greater.
He ran it because He created and loves you.
So if He ran that hard for us, what can we do but run hard for Him…with His strength and for His gory.