Thursday, June 12, 2014

Let Us Run

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. LET US RUN with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.    Hebrews 12:1-3

I love to run!  Truth be told, I am more of a buffalo than a runner, and sadly I am in the twilight of my running days after almost three decades of running.  While I have had some memorable runs, this spring gave me one of my most memorable running experiences to date.  I’ve run along the Sea of Galilee as well as circumvented the Old City walls of Jerusalem which were truly epic, but the premier running experience of my three decades of running was in our own backyard in Huddart Park, running a race to the top of Skyline Blvd and back, all on single track trails, mostly through the redwoods. What made it memorable was not the terrain, (although it was breathtaking) but with whom I ran.

Brad Ciraulo and I trained together for weeks and shared many hours and conversations on trails, comparing times and muscle soreness as well as synching running apps leading up to the race.  Without his companionship and our training, this race would have not been the same.

Hebrews speaks of our lives as a race and in Chapter 12 gives us a strategy for living significantly, or what we are calling this summer, living heroically.  To run well and finish strong, there seems to be three essentials needed:

  • Throw off everything that hinders: Makes sense, right?  It is why runners come to a race early in the morning in warm ups, sweats, water bottles, etc., but by race time at the starting line, they are in the bare minimum gear needed to run efficiently.  What is your biggest hindrance when it comes to running your race?  What is keeping you from getting rid of it? 
  • Fix our eyes on Jesus: He is the one who ran our course, and then runs it again with us, pacing us, empowering us and coaching us in real time through His Holy Spirit, providing perspective and motivation to run well. A million distractions are along the race course. Be aware of them, but be fixated on Christ.
  • Compare and contrast our sufferings with His: As we run, Jesus promised many things, among them is the fact that we will suffer (John 16:33).  In our race, when we hurt we turn to Jesus for refuge, healing, and for a proper outlook.  We are to look at what motivated Him in His suffering and allow His life to be the context for ours.  Friends, this is the only preventative measure keeping us from growing weary and losing heart.

How’s your running these days?  Not the kind on the trails or in races but in the race that matters--a life lived for the Glory of God and the good of others. This summer will you let the great cloud of witnesses from the Bible serve as your coaching team, passing on life lessons they learned?  

This Sunday we kick off our summer study entitled Heroes. You can look at the whole summer series here. Also, to kick off the series, and honor dads on Father’s Day, we are encouraging people to come dressed as their favorite super hero!  We have a few things up our sleeve to make the day memorable--you won’t want to miss it.  Come prepared by reading up Matthew 17:14-21.

I Love Being Your Pastor!