One of the dominant images for the Christian faith in the New Testament is that of a race. The Apostle Paul generally likes sports pictures, and the metaphor of a race very much captures what following Jesus is like.
In Hebrews 12:1-3, the author writes:
… [L]et 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he 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 sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Life and unhealthy relationships circumstances out of our control and our own bad decisions and sin — these are the things hinder and entangle and trip us up. And we are most vulnerable to these tripping hazzards when we take our eyes off of Jesus. And when this happens, we fall.
Is tripping and falling inevitable?
I don’t know.
But what I do know is that while lying facedown on the track, bleeding from a scraped knee, disheartened and discouraged — there is but one question.
WILL YOU GET UP AND RUN, or give up and walk away?
Right now I find myself personally face down on the track–bleeding and hurt, scraped up and discouraged, watching the other runners pass me by. And it is at this moment that I need to ask mysefl that one question: WILL I GET UP AND RUN or give up and walk away?
Why’d I fall?What entangled me? What ensnared me? Why did I take my eyes off Jesus?
These are good (and important) questions for another day. There will be plenty of time to review the “game tapes” (“race tapes” in this case)… plenty of time for coaching and analysis and for developing a better racing strategy and plan.
All of those are important. But right now I have a more important and more pressing question: WILL I GET UP AND RUN or give up and walk away?
Today, I am a runner — SO I WILL RUN.