Run with endurance
Published 9:42 am Wednesday, September 27, 2017
On cool evenings this time of year, on Wednesday’s, our church family will linger in the parking lot.
Adults are gathered in groups laughing, discussing the topic of the night’s study or just catching up. Some of the younger kids are playing tag or eating ice cream, thanks to the nearby Polar Express.
Groups of teenage girls and boys are talking about school or whatever comes up over a cone. Inevitably though, at some point, a competition starts up.
Parents of teenage boys know it doesn’t take much for young men to compete. Anything from shooting basketball to water bottle flipping instantly becomes a match for the ages.
Early on, when we had just begun King Street and the youth group was just a handful, the Wednesday night olympics merely consisted of foot races from the ice cream shop to the brick wall.
The writer of Hebrews paints a picture of a parallel in Chapter 12 of a foot race and a life lived for Christ. He talks about a crowd of faithful pursuers of God that have gone before us, a finish line ahead in Christ at the right hand of the Father.
He describes for us a need for conditioning by shedding the weight and sin that cripple the runner (imagine one of those kids running with a backpack full of rocks, they wouldn’t reach the wall, much less win the title of champ). Secondly, he describes keeping our eyes on Jesus who has run the race and established a pattern for us to follow.
In the Greek games, by which it would seem the picture is being painted, the longest event was the race. In other words, the writer is describing a marathon, not a sprint.
Therefore, he also says, run with endurance. The reality for those kids and us, is that life isn’t a series of sprints. Discipleship is a conditioned marathon that takes consistency and endurance. The same way Wednesday sprints isn’t a practical way to train teenage Olympians, neither is running after Christ inconsistently the way to discipleship.
In Matthew, Jesus talks about two burdens or weights — the burdens of the natural world and the burden of religion. (11:30,23:4) To run the race like Jesus is to look to the finish line.
I’m thankful that Jesus never took a day off from being Savior of the world. That, He was never tempted to be the type of Messiah that men wanted, instead remained the Son of God.
David Malcolm is pastor of King Street Church in Keysville. His email address is email@example.com.