Tue June 25 – Run the Race

Hebrews 12: 1-3 (CEB)

So then, with endurance, let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter. He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God’s throne. Think about the one who endured such opposition from sinners so that you won’t be discouraged and you won’t give up.


I always enjoy thinking of this scripture, because even though I don’t compete, I am a runner at heart, and I always admire their physical prowess. As I write this today, I am watching the track and field Olympic time trials. For sure, the metaphor isn’t the main idea of God’s word, except for this: one’s determination. What is the focus we see in the eyes of an accomplished athlete? What is the focus we see in the eyes of someone who knows their godly mission for Christ on earth? In each case, the determination is evident. There is this focus that others can see in one’s effort and attitude. And while the importance of the comparison could end there, it is even more poignant when we also regard that great “cloud of witnesses” who are meant not only to cheer us on, but who also participate in Christ’s mission on earth.

We aren’t meant to go on God’s mission alone. Perhaps this is where the running metaphor doesn’t match for those only focused on an earthly goal. If you ask any serious athlete training for a race, eventually they may tell about the many long hours practicing and perfecting their craft. Surely they have had the help of coaches and parents, but they may also tell you about the lonely hours they have had to dedicate to the sport when it was just themselves. Now I am not saying that athletes can’t be on a godly mission, only that when we take on a mission for God, we are never alone! Christ shares in our mission whenever we include him.

Have you stopped to pray and include Christ in the mission that you feel? As vs.3 says, “think about the one who endured… so that you won’t be discouraged”. This is how we will know how best to move forward in the mission that calls our hearts. So invite Christ into the plans and hopes and dreams. There are also our Christian brothers and sisters, “our great cloud of witnesses,” who are here to share and attest to the mission that we feel, hear or see. The Holy Spirit sends us their support so that we don’t have to just go it alone.

So what is the mission that grabs your heart –one that may have you training in your own special way or has been in your heart for years? Surely, it doesn’t need to be something physical –except that, it will involve your whole self! Maybe it’s a mission to really come out of your shell to volunteer at church for something you know is needed. Maybe it’s the mission to start a new type of support for those in need. Perhaps it is learning to speak the language of teenagers when they are hurting, or really completing that physical therapy so that you can keep up with the grandkids. It could be just being available to go on and help someone else who needs the encouragement.

What is the mission that in your own quiet way you share with our Lord? It doesn’t need to be a real race or anything physical at all. But it just needs to be one that has you talking to God and using your whole self as you run that race.

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

What mission holds your heart? What charges you forward toward the mission that God would have us do? What humbles you to remember that our Lord shares in the mission to be God’s hands and feet in the world without trying to go it alone?

Prayer: Loving God, In you, my hope remains. Through you, I know I find mission and purpose. Thank you for your hope and love for me. Help me always to discern from you the best way to approach each day and each mission that you call me to. Amen.

Scroll to Top