July 31st, 2011, was the day that it was officially confirmed that I am insane. I am not kidding, like CRAZY… loco! That was the day that I ran my very first long distance race: a half-marathon. 13.1 miles!!! Let me just set this up for you. Prior to that race the longest distance that I had ever run was 3 miles. Now you see what I mean by crazy?! I am by no means an athletic person so I still to this day do not know what possessed me to sign up for and run that race.
I will save you all the gruesome details of my near death experience… ahem, I mean my race. What I will tell you is that I finished the whole race without stopping. Woot Woot! and I finished like second from last… that deserves another woot woot! =) But that’s not what I wanted to share with you all today. What I wanted to share with you is a lesson that God used that race to teach me this afternoon.
At the beginning of the race all I could imagine was me crossing the finish line. How amazing would it feel to accomplish something that I never thought that I could do? To hear my name announced for all to hear, to see the balloons, the cheering crowd, and to have a medal placed around my neck? How awesome would that feel? However, as I began to run that race (and slowly feel my life slipping away from me) the finish line that once seemed so glorious became less and less important. At some point, the finish line no longer even mattered. The only thing that mattered to me was reaching the next water stop (which were dispersed every 2-3 miles along the course). The thought of the finish line many miles away offered me no hope when compared to the thought of the water stop that was soon approaching.
I had lost sight of my ultimate destination.
So it is with our lives. So often we become preoccupied with the water stops that life offers us. The water stops in life are those things that offer momentary pleasure and joy. Many of these water stops are great things: relationships, marriage, children, ministry positions, and all other lovely things. However, we must never forget that these things are fleeting. They are not what this race is all about. Our water stops in life are indeed blessings, times of refreshment from the Lord. But we must understand that God has given these things to us mainly to point us to Him. They are but instruments to give us a glimpse of the glory that is to come. THIS, my friends, is our hope!
May we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus!
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”