Those who know me well, know one of my favorite quips as a distance runner is, “I’m not fast, just stubborn!” In successful long distance running patience or persistence is more important than speed. My definition of patience? … sustained intensity! Brings to mind, the tale of “the tortoise and the hare” doesn’t it? The tortoise won the race over the hare on persistence!
It’s the same way with the Christian life – Living for the Lord is a lifelong journey! The race we run is a lifelong marathon, not a 50 yard sprint. That’s the reason the writer of Hebrews urged those who were facing trials, persecution and temptation… “Let us run with endurance [or patience] 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, despising its shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God… Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (From Hebrews 12:1-3)
Jesus is like the perfect life-coach! He completed the most grueling of lifelong races – from heaven, to birth in Bethlehem, then he lived a sinless life, on to the cross, the grave, the resurrection and back to heaven again! He modeled how to begin and finish successfully. The coaching, the encouragement, the instruction he provides is unsurpassed! He knows what He’s talking about! In the parlance of those who have run a few marathons… “He’s been there, done that, and got the tee shirt!” in fact they’ve named the race after Him!
2019 is just ahead… I’m making Hebrews 12:1-3 theme verse this year! I think it will serve me well… think about it, you may want to consider making it your theme verse as well.