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Running This Race Called Life

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July 28, 2011 by Heather Harris

I have never been a fan of running.  I was always one of the last few to finish the mile in high school, and I hated every second of it. You know, the kid who came in huffing and puffing even though he/she had only run the straights and walked the curves? Yep, that was me.  In fact, that’s still me, only I’m running that race The Bible talks about in Hebrews 12:1, and it’s a whole lot longer than a silly old mile.

Endurance has never been my strong point.  When things start to get hard, I stop. I complain. I find excuses for why I can’t finish. My boyfriend can attest to this. When we play tennis, he could go for hours on end, but after 20 minutes I’m already complaining I’m tired, I’m bored, I’m hot, etc.  It’s because I can’t push myself past a certain point. I blame it on lack of interest or lack of physical fitness, but really it’s simply a lack of will power, a lack of strength of mind.

The same applies to my race with God.  I move in short sprints, but then my will fails me, and I find myself at a stand-still, sitting on the ground in a lazy heap.  I want to do so much for God, want to be everything He made me to be, but the fact is, until I learn to endure and push through this barrier I keep coming up against, I won’t be able to do it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know I’m human. I know I can’t run this race straight through with no stops at all. I know I’ll fall, I’ll get tired, and I might take the wrong fork in the road,  but in the end, it’s all about not giving up. It’s about failing and having the courage to try again until you succeed. It’s about pushing through the hard times knowing there is something better for you ahead.  That is true endurance.

So, if you’re like me and have trouble getting back up again, remember that in the end, it’s all about what you’re running for.  Without a purpose, a mission, a goal, what point is there in running at all?  Jesus came so that we might live more abundantly, and that means that our races, our lives have purpose. We are here to love, to worship, to take up our cross and not lose hope. We are here to run this race called life with the goal of Heaven and eternal life with Christ in our minds and hearts.  I love The Message version of Ephesians 3:12-17, which says,

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

We’re all running in this race called life, whether we like it or not, and we all have our reasons to keep moving forward. I want mine to be Jesus, to be Christ-likeness, to be bringing glory to God.  What will yours be?

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