Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Here’s a fun learning game to play with children: tell them to walk in as straight a line as possible toward a tree or fence post across the yard while concentrating only on their feet. The results are both entertaining and instructive. As we might guess, looking only at our feet will make us veer off course. The best way to go straight toward something is to keep looking at it as we go.
The writer of Hebrews knew this is true also for the Christian life: we should not get tangled in the work of putting one foot in front of the other. Instead we should focus on the destination: Jesus Christ. We must run the race marked out for us—but with our eyes fixed on the finish line.
The writer also adds more good news: we are not running on our own strength; we are running in the strength of Jesus Christ.
Christ is the root of our faithful run, and he is also the one who brings it to completion. We can take comfort in knowing that he has already run the race ahead of us. And he continues to provide all the spiritual blessings we need during the ups and downs, the joys and challenges of this earthly life.
As you run the race of faithful living, are you focusing steadily on Jesus, who ran the course already and helps you along the way?
Dear Lord, teach us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Forgive us when we try to do things on our own. May we be led by Your Spirit in all we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.