Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. (NLT)
I recently entered my name on a website, with lists of schools and names of past pupils who attended. The very next day, I received an e-mail from a pal from my junior school days. She is still residing in England, she informed me, and also remarked about the fact that we played together on the netball team. Well! It was a lovely surprise to see that come up on the screen.
I e-mailed back, telling her how I'd emigrated to Canada, also reminiscing over those wonderful school days when we were between 7 and 11 years old. I was very involved in all the sports, running, jumping and representing the school.
She then scanned a picture of our netball team, which gave amusement to my daughters.
There were different kinds of races. We were called, by name, to the starting line. With the relay we had different starting positions. Cross-country was over rocks, hills, and streams — rough terrain. We had to get over the hurdles. Then there were the team sports, like netball and rounders, where we had support from others. There was the bar to clear, in high jump. We had to jump as far as we could in the long jump. There was a teacher in charge, telling us what to do the whole time.
Then my mind wandered from school, to Sunday School picnics:
- egg and spoon race — concentration
piggy back race — carry someone
3-legged race — hindrance
With all of these, we had to train beforehand. We also knew that we should focus — and not on the crowd, or friends looking on. We had to fix our eyes on the goal. We had to concentrate on the race.
Since then, it's made me think about comparisons with our spiritual lives. Our life is like that. We're called, by name, at different stages in our lives. We can train, every day, read the Bible, pray. We have to keep our focus, which is on Jesus Christ.
We'll have hurdles, unseen terrain. Sometimes we'll carry people. There will be hindrances.
Throughout our lives, though, we have a teacher telling us, guiding us, in the race of life. We need to listen, focus and live in faith that He knows best and will, if we let Him, be there waiting for us at the finishing line.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, not to take our eyes off You as we may face hurdles and rough ground. May we remember You are there to carry us. Help us, too, as we train every day, becoming closer to You, and so being like part of a team, encouraging others on toward Your kingdom. Amen.