When he decided to run, I went and bought him some running shoes, a stop watch, and some bottles of Gatorade. I thought he was now equipped to run any race that could be set before him. Little did I know about the endurance build-up that would require some time. He immediately started running around the block for exercise. Every day he would attempt to push himself a little further in his length and time of running. Now just a couple of months later, he is running 5 miles per day. He is keeping up with the Varsity runners, and last weekend he ran his personal record of a 3K (1.8 miles) in 12:07. I was so proud of him.
This Blog is not written for the sole purpose of gloating on my eldest son, but rather to emphasize the parrallels to life.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despisingthe shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Last week at our large home invitational meet (there were over 2,000 runners), I noticed some interesting things that might appear as a non-issue for most. As a course monitor near the finish line, I was alert and aware as to the actions of not only the runners, but the parents as well. Each race had anywhere from 100--300 kids running. What I noticed is that you would have several hundred parents hovering over the finish line for about the first 75% of the runners that came through. However, the last 25% that were stragglers, had nobody left to cheer them on. They were out there on their own.
Wouldn't you say life feels like that at times. On certain stretches of our life we have cheerleaders urging us forward, but in other stretches, everybody has packed up and gone home. I love the above passage because verse 2 says "Looking to Jesus." It does not say looking to man, your pastor, your family and friends, co-workers, etc... Man will let you down everytime, but God is the ultimate cheerleader standing there shouting and encouraging us to keep persevering on towards the finish line. He is shouting at us not to give up when the shin's of life start burning. He doesn't want us to keel over in pain because we just can't give anymore.
Just like David has had to run every day in order to run a smoother more efficient race, he has also had to prepare his body. He understands the importance of hydration and eating. He knows that he is going to get pains in his side if he doesn't pre-hydrate. He knows he will not be able to give it his all, if he doesn't eat protein. He is also becoming very aware that all of the junk food that he ate in prior years, won't get him the endurance on a long run.
We have to stay pre-hydrated and filled with protein from God's Word. The Bible is there to feed us. Jesus says that if we drink of His everlasting water, we will thirst no more. He promises to feed us through the meat of the Word, in order for us to have spiritual protein to run the race of life. Unlike Cross Country where their is a finish line for every race, we are in one race that lasts our lifetime. When our lives are over, will you have crossed that finish line victorious and with excellence, or will you be found vomiting on the back side of the course due to low practice and a sugar diet. Times are short my friends. May we all be challenged to exercise spiritually, and run this spiritual race with excellence...