“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” Hebrews 12:1-2
When a runner is competing in an Olympic Race, his coaches on the sidelines are rooting for him, people in the stands are rooting for him, every track coach he had in Junior High and High School is rooting for him! His family, friends, and neighbors, and all those who claim to have gone to school with him are all rooting for him too! The runner, however, is focused on one thing – the finish line!
If he stopped for a moment to remember all the people he knew; his coaches, his friends, and all those who were cheering for him, he might start thinking how disappointed they would be if he lost this race. That pressure would begin to gnaw at his energy levels. That anxiety would weigh him down. No, he must focus on one thing, and one thing only – the finish line!
The above verse tells us that we are in a race too! It also tells us where to look, what to rid ourselves of, and what we are to lay aside in order to streamline our race so we won’t lose sight of the very purpose of our race!
Yes, I am grateful for the great cloud of witnesses cheering me on. Yes, I am grateful for the coaches, instructors and teachers I’ve had. BUT – my focus, attention and gaze is on one Person, and one Person only – Jesus! He is my finish line! Many people believe that the finish line is death, but death is not the finish line for believers! Our Finish Line is Standing Before Jesus! And we must focus an THAT finish line and streamline our lives accordingly.
If we focus consistently to Jesus, He will coach us to the finish line, and we’ll have endurance to spare! We can be grateful for those who are cheering us on, but they, with us, are in this race together and we all have our part. So let the cheers ignite you and let the great cloud of witnesses do their job while we do ours, as Jesus is the beginning and the end of our race.