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Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus…
As I type this, my wife has just returned from a half-marathon-distance run around Oban: up inclines, down descents and along straights as she prepares for the Edinburgh Half Marathon.
Her mapped route shows the scale of her achievement – up the Dunollie Road twice as part of a circuit, all with her eyes fixed on the incredible goal of completing the 13.1 miles.
Incredible considering that I can sometimes feel tired driving up that hill! Running that route with so many unavoidable obstacles really offers up only two options – turn back or press on through. Isn’t that just like life, and precisely what the writer of Hebrews was hinting at?
There are an innumerable number of reasons why we could give up and give in, letting the hindrances throw us off our stride and prompting us to throw in the towel. But, Hebrews reminds us that there is a way to persevere to completion…there is a way to scale the hills and run the full distance in this life…there is an endurance that comes through choosing to keep our eyes on the goal, Jesus Christ: the One who ran His race and endured to the line of victory, all for the joy that would come on the other side.
We’ll all face some hills as we run the distance of life – the question is, will we face them on our own, or will we lift our eyes and look to Him. He’s beckoning us to let go of the past, embrace the moment and fix our eyes on the promise that only He can offer for the future. An outstretched hand of invitation from Christ – let’s run this race towards Him together!
Stuart Lawson, Oban Baptist Church.