Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Friend to Friend
My son was fast, and he ran with a fast crowd. As a matter of fact, his entire track team was pretty fast. In the ninth grade, Steven participated in the conference track meet, running the 1600 meter. (That’s four times around the big circle.) I was so proud of him as he ran like a gazelle around the first lap, about six feet behind the first-place participant. But, at some point during the beginning of the second lap, we saw an unidentified flying object soar over Steven’s head.
“What was that?” my husband asked.
“It was Steven’s shoe!” I exclaimed.
All the fans were laughing and pointing as we noticed that Steven’s left running shoe had come untied, flown heavenward, and landed on the grassy field. But the amazing thing was that Steven never missed a beat. With the right shoe still intact, he ran on. All curious eyes were now on one runner. Would he stop? Would he slow down? Would his sock stay on?
His teammates began to run around the track, cheering him on. “Go Steven! Don’t slow down!”
Surprisingly, he sped up. By the third lap, he had passed the first-place runner by several paces. But then, predictably, his sock started to work its way down his ankle and the toe was flopping like a windsock in the breeze. Undaunted, Steven ran on, his sock flopping all the while. The race became a contest not to see who would come in first, but to see if Steven’s sock would make it to the end.
When he crossed the finish line in first place, the crowd erupted in applause and laughter. He had recorded a personal best!
“Son, maybe you should have kicked off both shoes. No tellin’ what you could have done. You made your best time ever. What made the difference?” we asked.
Steven answered, “I knew everybody was looking at me. It wasn’t just a race anymore. They were watching to see what I’d do. It made me go faster. It made me want to do better.”
Then God began to speak to my heart about what I had just seen. I can run this race called “life” right along with the rest of the crowd and no one may notice at all. But when adversity strikes, that’s when all eyes turn to one small runner. “Will she buckle? Will she quit? Will she turn back?” spectators ask.
But when we press on, despite the struggle of life, despite the laughter of the crowd, we’ll hear the applause of Heaven and the encouraging cheers of our Heavenly Father cheering us on. “Don’t quit! Keep going!” And onlookers will be amazed at the courageous persistence only God can give.
Dear Lord, as I go through the struggles of life, help me to press on with courage and confidence so that those watching will see the peace that only comes from knowing You.
In Jesus’ Name,
More from the Girlfriends
Read Hebrews 12:1-13 and note what you learn about running the race with endurance.
How does “throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us” help us to run the race better?
Is there anything in your life that is slowing you down in the race?
Are you carrying extra worry, fear, sin, shame, or guilt on your shoulders? If so, what does this passage tell you to do with it?
More from the Girlfriends
Don’t you love reading stories of God’s fingerprints on the pages of everyday life? My book, Listening to God Day by Day is a storehouse of 100 of my favorite devotional stories all in one collection. Some stories will make you laugh. Some stories will make you cry—And each story will point you to God and strengthen your relationship with Him.