Running by Robin Densmore Fuson
Are you running? Should we run?
Running. The word is used for a variety of things such as—running a race, a cash register, or an errand. You might be running a household or a company, the classroom, or a meeting. Running the flag up the pole. We run to the store. Back in the day, women ran their stockings, which was a bad thing.
You could be running for office or running out of gas. What if you’re running something into the ground? Or running someone down with your words? Running the ponies. Running on empty or running at the mouth or running in place. Running up a tab or a bill.
Most of these if not all of them, create a picture in our minds. If I say, running away, you might picture a child with a knapsack tied on a pole over his shoulder or a teen with only the clothes on their back, a phone in their pocket, and trying to hitch a ride out of town.
Can you think of any other ways to be running?
Let’s take a close look at one of these—running the race. Which kind of race? Car, train, bicycle? Foot race? The meter? A hundred-yard dash? Running hurdles, running a 5k, or 10k, or a half-marathon. What about running a marathon, or triathlon? The choices are wide and the skill can be intense.
Running most races is not for the faint of heart. You train. You use the right shoes and athletic wear. It’s difficult, it makes you sweat. It’s not only physical but mental. Your mind has to be in the game of running.
The seasoned runner wears the lightest clothing and footwear. The runner’s body and mind are toned, trained, and conditioned. Wearing boots and a heavy coat is not for the runner of a race. Those things need to be stripped off.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge cloud 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” (Hebrews12:1 nlt).
This verse tells us we are running in a race and we have witnesses in heaven and those angelic beings we cannot see. The Lord—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are fully aware of what we are doing. We need to lighten our load of doubt, bitterness, an unforgiving spirit, past trials and sin, etc., and current sin that trips us up. Then we need to keep going, one foot in front of the other.
The apostle Paul is an amazing example of one who ran his race well. He understood that the Christian life is a race. We set the pace to finish well. There will be times you sprint and others when you are slow but the key is to continue. “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us” (Philippians 3:14 nlt). Christ Jesus has called us to run this race of life with Him in our daily lives. The Holy Spirit will give you the tools you need to stay on the course and keep running. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of running a perfect race. God the Father was well pleased with His Son.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7 nlt). Paul knew that the race could be difficult. His life proved it. But he knew what the result was, the prize of eternity in heaven with our Savior.
Don’t let the trials of life get you sidetracked and off into the weeds. Stay on course. Stay on the track God has set for you. Be the runner who runs well and finishes well.