“Running the Race” by Melissa Mitchell

“Running the Race” by Melissa Mitchell

Endurance. When you think of sports, usually there is some element of endurance involved. Whether it is the Olympics, the Superbowl or even a high school basketball game, one of the keys to winning (or just finishing!) is be able to endure. To have your eyes fixed on the end goal and to not give up.

The Bible speaks of this as well. In Hebrews 12:1 –

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 The author of Hebrews writes of endurance, the race – and who are we looking at? Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith.

I think it is so easy to take our eyes off the prize – the goal line. I was especially reminded of this recently. I was on Facebook and saw a comment on a mutual friend’s post made by someone I knew of. Something seemed off by his comment, so I admit it – I went to his Facebook page and did some quick research.

For many years I was in full-time ministry work with college students and this person was in regional leadership in the same organization. He wasn’t from the same area as me but I saw him at many conferences and roundtable discussion groups I was part of. He had been in ministry much longer than I and was a director.

After perusing his Facebook page for just a few moments, it became clear that he was no longer in ministry and no longer believed in God the same way. What a shock and disappointment! I emailed a mutual friend and he confirmed my observations. How does this happen?!

How does someone who seems to love God, who is actively in sharing his faith, helping others grow etc. come to the point of unbelief?

I certainly don’t know for sure. But I know that most people don’t wake up one day and decide to throw their Christian faith away. It generally starts out with a series of compromises and usually pride is involved. How do we prevent this from happening? I believe it is a series of choices that we make every day that keeps us enduring – running the race, or sadly, causing us to veer off track. Choosing moment by moment to stay connected to God, who is the vine, the source of life.

John 15:5 –  “I am the Vine and you are the branches. Get your life from Me. Then I will live in you and you will give much fruit. You can do nothing without Me.”

 We need to endure in our walk with the Lord. Thankfully He provides us the power and means to make this happen. And the prize, a life that brings honor to Him, is worth it!