The Ultimate Endurance Sport

As the Giants are holding off Brady and the Super Bowl is wrapping up, it reminds me of a passage in Hebrews with that contains a sports analogy.

Do you see what this means–all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running–and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
(Heb 12:1-3)

Have you ever had life get bogged down?  We all have.  Some days we wake up and we just don’t feel like doing all the things that are on the slate to do.  Sometimes it feels like life is just too much.  But we carry on.   Our lives are the ultimate endurance sport and here the author of Hebrews offers us insight on how to win the race and even do it with joy along the way.  There are a few things that stand out to me.

First, is the idea that we can’t finish unless we start.  So many times we want to see the whole picture before we move.  We want all the steps laid out like mapquest directions.  While that might work when using GPS (most of the time) it’s not the way life goes.  I love thinking about the Wright brothers and how they learned to fly by learning to fly.  They didn’t know how, they just started doing.  The truth for most of us is that we already know much of what we need to do to be a better spouse, parent or friend.  We already know the good habits we need to develop as students or in our careers.  We just need to get started.

Next we see that our lives have purpose.  Jesus kept his focus because because he knew that His life mattered.  His actions mattered.  It’s true for us as well – what we do matters.  As spouses, employees, parents and friends our actions make a difference.  When we choose to see our lives from a perspective of purpose it helps give us power to stay strong in the race.

Last is the reminder that Jesus experienced more trouble, obstacles and issues than any of us could imagine and he stayed the course.  Our connection to Him gives us the peace, strength and Joy required to live this life.  When we stop, unplug and find ourselves in Him, we are renewed for the journey.

Let’s make this week’s lap a great one!