Let us strip off every weight that slows us down especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
There was a time in my life when I was an avid jogger. I ran six miles four times a week. I used those morning jogs for prayer and a time of listening to Jesus.
I usually ran early in the morning as the sun was coming up and the air was crisp and cool even in our Texas summers. It was always a time on inspiration. When I came in from my run I usually sat down with a cup of coffee and a note pad and wrote down what I remembered hearing the Holy Spirit say to me while I ran.
I found that running was more than a physical activity. It was a mental and spiritual activity as well.
There were always times when I felt like I needed to turn around and quite running, and those were the times I heard a voice within me saying you need to give it your all. You need to keep your eyes on the road ahead, I have strength coming to you if you will not give up. Keep on keeping on. That had to be Jesus giving me encouragement through the Holy Spirit to run with endurance. Throughout life Jesus is always there with us to give us that strength and encouragement if we are tempted to quit life’s race that God has set before us.
I can’t physically jog anymore because of a back injury. In fact, I can’t walk very far or very long without sitting down to calm the back pain. If I allow myself to think about how much further I have to go, or how uncomfortable I am with constant back pain, or what I want to do later, I don’t give the Holy Spirit a chance to urge me on and encourage me for the work God has called me to.
I have learned over the years God gives us new visions for new races that he sets before us. They may not be as long as some we used to run, but they are the race God puts there for each of us at the right time.
Those words in Hebrews encourage us to cast off anything that hinders us so we can persevere in the race that God sets before us. And, this means that we have to stay attuned physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally to hearing the encouragement that Jesus gives us. That helps strip away those things that make us want to give up and quit running. Staying attuned to the Holy Spirit is how we can finish the race.
- What hinders you in your faith walk?
- What do you need to ask God to give you so that you can walk or run the race he calls you to?
- Do you need to ask for courage, or insight so that you can run the race set before you?
Sue is NLS Spiritual Director, since 2019 and is a retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA). Active in VdC since 1995, she has served two terms on the Board of the Texas VdC Secretariat, and also on the Texas Gulf Coast VdC Board as Spiritual Director since its start-up in 2017.