Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Run Your Race

Ever since I was small, I've loved races. I guess it is because I love running. My favorite "Patch the Pirate Adventure" was (and still is) Mount Zion Marathon, which is all about running life's race. And just a few weeks ago, we watched Chariots of Fire, a great film that is now one of my favorites. It is about Eric Liddell*, an athlete who ran - not only his life's race, but even his sport races - with God.

Picture it this way: your life as a racetrack, you are the runner, and God is your Coach.

Running a mere race isn't easy. You have to discipline yourself. You have to undergo a lot of training and exercise. You have to be physically fit, and strong enough.
Running life's race is not easy either. You need to know how to run.

Hebrews 12:1-2 explains how we are to run our life's race.
Let us lay aside every weight. When you run a race, you can't carry anything along with you; it would only slow you down. In running life's race, you must put down all "weight." "Weight" there is the things that hinder you from running: doubt, fear, pride, earthly possessions...lay them aside, and run freely.
And the sin which so easily besets us. Not only must you lay aside every weight, you need to lay aside the sin that enslaves you. Running with sin is like running with a great big pack on your back. It weighs so heavily on you, pushing you lower and lower until you stumble and fall. We need to lay aside the weight and the sin and run our race free from both.
And let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Running life's race is not easy. Yet, we are commanded to run with perseverance, run with all the strength we've got, and finish the race.

Earlier, I mentioned that Eric Liddell ran his life's race AND his sport races with God. How did he do that? Simple. He trusted God to be his wings to fly. He trusted God to be his strength. He trusted God to lead him to victory.

Fellow Brethren in-training, how are you running your life's race? Are you running patiently, faithfully enduring every hardship and trial that comes your way?
Running life's race is more than just and easy sprint. It's a long-distance run.
There are times when you stumble and fall; there are times when you're so tired and it's just so hard. There are times when you are so discouraged, that you just want to give up.

"Be faithful, Christian and run the race. Keep looking upward, and seek My face. Keep pressing on, endure the trials down. And I will give to you the victor's crown."

That is my favorite song from Mount Zion Marathon. It inspires me to move on, to push for the goal. I find running easier when I run with my eyes on Jesus.

Keep pressing on, runners. Don't look at the track; don't think of the obstacles that lie ahead. Don't give up, and don't slow down. Look to Jesus. Fight a good fight. Finish your course. Run your race.

(*If you want to find out more about Eric Liddell read Men of Faith: Eric Liddell by Catherine Swift, Christian Heroes: Then and Now - Something Greater than Gold by Janette and Geoff Benge.)

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