I just love how doing something normal can suddenly bring scripture alive. I recently experienced this with Hebrews 12.
I had the idea a number of months ago to take part in a sponsored 10k run to try to raise funds for a great charity we support. Rebecca’s Room, a project of Children in Crisis Africa(CiCA), aims to build homes and bring hope in Africa. The vision for this project came from a trip to Zambia in 2011 where we met a family living in extreme poverty, a young single mum with 4 children who are all homeless, the youngest a girl named Rebecca. The group we travelled with knew something needed to be done and so Rebecca’s Room was born.
I thought I wasn’t too unfit, I had ran years ago but when I started trying to run, I quickly found out I’m not fit at all. It was really hard work, time consuming and painful. I ran 2k, then 3k and thought I would be ok. I upped the distance a little at a time and got to running 5k but life seemed to get busy and things crept in that I needed to do. We were busy with life, ministry and then I had an accident and damaged my knee. That soon meant my training regime ended before I had even got near my target. I could see the race date getting closer and so I recently started training again but I got bored, time dragged and I wanted to quit. I kept looking down to see how far I’d gone, how long it was taking etc. I even said to Rich “Why didn’t I just say I would do 5k?” I then began to think about the reason I was doing this, the purpose behind this run. Previously I had just being looking at the immediate goal of reaching 10k rather than the long term goal, to house this family and many others living in a desperate situation. As I did this I stopped looking down at my distance and it seemed like time was going quick, I was soon reaching 6k and 7k, one day last week I even did 12k!
Hebrews 12 and running our race with our eyes fixed suddenly came to mind
let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us. Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor. Hebrew 12, The Voice Bible
I had always understood this passage and believed it but this made it come alive in me. I thought about how so many Christians seem to never reach the long term goal and drop out of the race early. I thought about how people need to really know the importance of keeping our eyes on Jesus not on the goal we are trying to reach, the thing we are trying to overcome or where we want to be. I felt so strong I needed to shout out to Christians world wide ‘Look up & run’. Just like with my training looking up actually helped me run, looking up will help you run your race. We were never meant to just try to get to the next goal, the next marker in life. One of the enemy’s greatest tools is distraction, he doesn’t mind that we might focus on good things, church work, ministry as long as we don’t focus on Jesus.
There is a huge key in this that we often miss. Even Jesus had to focus on long term and not immediate to endure the cross and if He needed to do it how much more do we. When you focus on Jesus then you will have the strength to keep running, things that used to matter suddenly don’t. Looking at Him gives you the strength to throw off the things that would try and hold you back and take your time or focus. I’m not saying looking up suddenly makes everything easy, just like with my training it is still hard work, it’s still painful and still takes time but this key makes it possible.
To support Rebecca’s Room and sponsor Claire for the 10k run please use this link http://www.justgiving.com/ClaireAshbyRun