DayBreaks for 10/23/13 – The Race We Are In
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT) – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
Let me tell you a story about someone that I’ve never met and only just read about, but I deeply admire her: one day, at age 42, in beautiful downtown Cleveland, this woman ran a marathon by accident (all 26 miles, 385 yards of it). Her name is Georgene Johnson. You may have heard her story, how she lined up with the wrong group at the starting line. Not the 10K group, where she belonged. But the 26 mile group, where she didn’t.
It wasn’t until the four mile mark that she realized her mistake. So she just kept going, finishing the race in four hours and four minutes. But it’s what she said later (by way of explanation) that struck a chord within me. Said Georgene: “This isn’t the race I trained for. This isn’t the race I entered. But, for better or worse, this is the race I’m in.”
Isn’t that how life is? Think about the single mother, struggling to make ends meet. Think of the addict with the needle in his/her arm, the prostitute or starving. None of them ever hope to be such things when they were starting out in life.
You may find yourself in a similar situation. You may be doing something for work that you never thought you’d be doing – a step down from your early aspirations. You may find yourself worn out at day’s end from little children dogging your every step, demanding every ounce of energy and attention you have to offer. You may have thought you’d be living in a comfortable retirement but due to the downturn a few years back, that dream is largely gone up in smoke.
“This is the race I’m in.” No matter what season of life we are in, relatively few of us are exactly where we figured we’d be….doing exactly what we figured we’d be doing. But we are where we are, and (for better or worse) we’re keeping our feet moving. Why? Perhaps it is because we have no choice. Perhaps it is because we are still grasping a thread of hope for better times in front of us. But the best motivation of all is to understand that where ever we are right now, we are to serve the King. We are where we are as part of a plan that He’s working out in our lives. We can make a difference right now, right where we are. I may not have become the neurosurgeon that I dreamed of being, but I’m something better. I’m a disciple of Jesus. I’m a child of the King! The question is what will I do with this day of the race I’m in? What will you do with yours?
How do we do it? The answer is in the passage above: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…” not on broken hopes or dreams. We aren’t even to set our eyes on the finish line, but on the person of Jesus, who will carry us over that finish line! What do you see as you face your day? Jesus? Or just another day of living?
PRAYER: Jesus, we can so easily despair about what has become of our hopes and dreams for our lives. Give us the wisdom to realize that no matter what and where we are now, that You have invited us to join You in Your work – to make the best of this and every day for as long as we draw breath. Lift our eyes to see you rather than our problems! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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