My 23yr old daughter Kayla set her mind on running the 26.2 miles that make up the foot race known as the, “Soldier Marathon” held on Ft. Benning, Columbus Ga. She began her run at 7am on a cold 32 degree morning. 5 hours later, her mother and I cheered as Kayla crossed the finish line. With our family camcorder rolling I asked her to say something that she would want to remember later. Her response was both simple and profound. Kayla proudly looked and me and proclaimed, “I did it.”
I used her story at Connections this week as I taught from the 12th chapter of the book of Hebrews. In the first 2 verses, the writer compares the life of a Christian believer to that of a marathon runner. Mentioned in these verses are words commonly used in the arena of running such as “course, run, race, and endurance.”
Importantly, the chapter is preceded by a list of people who have persevered and trusted God in spite of the level of suffering, persecution, or even death. We then, are challenged to run our race in that same manner. To run our race, the writer continues his athletic metaphor with some specific instructions. We are first encouraged lay aside all encumbrances.
Although Kayla’s race started out with less the favorable temperatures, eventually the sun came up and the day warmed. The gloves that earlier were a welcomed friend were eventually set aside for the sake of the race. I trust that you are seeing tune correlation.
There are of things and people that are perfectly fine to be a party too. If these, in some way, cause us to be hindered on our Christian course, they must be put aside. Kayla dropped her gloves at our feet at mile 14.
The next thing the writer states is that our sin needs to go. Sin is best defined by a single verse of scripture found in James 4:17 “to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” The word sin, in essence, means to miss the intended mark. It was a term used in the field of archery to describe the arrow not hitting the very center of the target.
Kayla trained when she could have slept. She read material that helped her accomplish her goal. She spent time with people who have already finished a marathon and that would train her to do the same. And just as the athlete avoids doing things to their mind and body that may cost them victory, we as Christians must train our mind, will, and emotions to “hit the mark” when it involves running the course that has been set before us.
I will share more on running your race next week. I hope you enjoy that, “With Your Latte.”. Ps make sure your latte is sugar free/fat free.