I run a small business. Every year around this time, I seek to rise above the frantic pace of operations and take stock of:
where we have been
where we are
where we are going
As the story of our company is written, I notice a recurring theme:
At critical times in our brief company history when
clients weren’t satisfied
employees were frustrated
the bank account was empty
hope was dwindling
we needed to make a decision that the vision was worth the pain and press forward.
At those times, I could take comfort in the words of the writer of Hebrews:
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 – Hebrews 12:1
We are “surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses”. These are those stalwarts of faith that have already run the race and are now cheering us on! I like to think that this cloud of witnesses is joined by those encouragers in my life without whom I may have long ago given up the race. I thank God for these precious Christ-followers.
We are asked to “throw off everything that hinders us.” Yes, in this life there will be trouble – be it injustice, disease, or the largest recession in eighty years.
And we are warned of “the sin that so easily entangles.” As if life is not difficult enough with the trouble that comes at us, we all know that we make it more difficult because of the trouble that is within us.
In my life, as in my business, perseverance would not be “worth it” were it not for the clear image of the finish line:
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. Hebrews 12:2
When I am close to despair, thank you that I can fix my eyes on you and gain an eternal perspective that allows me to persevere. Amen.