Recently, I started running again. I have to admit it wasn’t easy. I have not been very consistent with my exercise routine. Between work, kids’ online school, home and everything else, I just got very busy. Exercise was the last thing on my mind. Most days I settled for my indoor activities as exercise, but it wasn’t long before I started to feel the weakness and a lack of energy. I could barely make it to a mile and felt like giving up.
As Christians we’re also running a spiritual race. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to run our race with endurance.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1
As Coronavirus spreads through our communities, we are spending more time indoors. Social isolation has made our lives more challenging and for some, it could mean being sidelined or thrown off the race. Where once were prayer and fellowship now may seem like distracted living and stress. We may feel like giving up what God has called us to do. Yet, these moments can be the ones where we don’t look at ourselves or our shortcomings. Instead, we look to Jesus who has set an example and prepared a way for us to follow.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul exhorts believers to keep up with the race, saying we must run in such a way that we’ll win. “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
So, does that mean we can win this spiritual race by our own ability? Certainly, not. This act of running is nothing but striving forward, continually looking to Jesus and relying on His strength.
God is calling each one of us for a unique opportunity to live and speak about God’s love in our communities. Perhaps, like Esther, we were born to live in such a time as this. How are we responding?
I hope this year we’ll feel more challenged to do the work that God has called us to do. Let us lay aside every weight that slows us down, and run the race with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Onward to 2021.