I was reading about cross-country running yesterday (don’t ask, but no, it wasn’t because I’m considering registering for such a race!). What I did find interesting, though, was that the distance of these races is not exactly far. According to Wikipedia, a cross-country course is typically only 4 to 12 kilometers, or 2.5 to 7.5 miles, long. What makes such an endeavor challenging, I imagine, is the varying terrain of the course, as it travels over hills, grass, woodlands, etc. rather than smooth roads or a track.
The picture of the Christian life as a long-distance race is common in Scripture.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.2 Timothy 4:7
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, 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.Hebrews 12:1-2
There are other references to this effect, of course, but these come to mind first. At the moment of our conversion, we begin the marathon of the Christian life. Notice the ultimate prize that is obtained at the end of this race, namely, Jesus Christ. Indeed, He is our focus with each step, and our reward at the end (cf. Philippians 3:12-15). What motivation!
Greater still is the reality that we do not run this race dependent on our own abilities or endurance. Rather, we are supernaturally empowered by God through His Holy Spirit, thus ensuring that we arrive safely at the finish line (Philippians 1:6). Such promises make the difficult course worth it, do they not?
Well, now that I’ve perhaps inspired you to go out for a quick jog, bookmark this page so that when you come back, you can enjoy your week in review (kind of):
- Sigh. And so it goes on, and on, and on.
- This community is dear to my heart, so I grieve and pray over this.
- On hearing sermons.
- Worth considering.
- None of these are difficult or taxing.
- Tim Conway and Doris Day both passed away this week. I haven’t seen many Day movies, but will probably watch some now. This, however, is my favorite Conway skit.
- Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
- It’s just a neat photo.
- A word about our digital self-image.
- My grandpa was a Seabee in WWII, so I found this bit of news interesting.
- Speaking of WWII, I love this idea.
- Yep, it’s a baby.
Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines—as well as upon works!John Newton