A long time ago, I had a friend who was part of a group of runners. One or two people in the pack would head out with flour and mark a trail for the rest to follow. Some trails intentionally had a dead end. But one trail would lead to a real end where there would be a party waiting. Or maybe just snacks or some beer. Whenever someone found a trail that continued, they’d yell out, “On, on!”
I read a book called Disciplines for Life. When the authors posed the question of what scripture (I) could use to battle recurring temptations, Hebrews 12:1 came to mind (along with the image of the runners … except for the party and beer part).
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, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
I was in a tough spot battling some heavy emotions: anger, injustice, pride. And while I felt I had had a prayer answered, instead of focusing on the joy of that, I found myself unexpectedly sinking into some pretty murky thoughts: it’s still not fair; they never said … why do I have to shoulder this?
I was in quicksand and sinking fast. I was focusing on all of what wasn’t done, instead of the one thing that was–miraculous in itself. And this verse came to mind to battle the temptation to be doubtful, discontent, disheartened, discouraged. Throw it off. Stop letting sin trip you up. Run your race. The one marked out just for you.
It’s Hebrews 12:2-3 that tells me the true path to follow.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him 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 sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Lord, strengthen my feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for my feet so that I may not be disabled, but rather healed.