I’m a big fan of running. I love the surge of endorphins that energize me and fill me with a sense of peace. I love the feeling of accomplishment, especially after running over five miles. It hasn’t always been that way though! Wanting to try something new, I signed up for my first 5k in 2012. I had never run more than a mile before this time. It was excruciating! About a fourth of a mile into the race, I realized, I hated running! What had I gotten myself into? I was certainly not feeling the rush of endorphins then. Yet I continued. I alternated between running and walking until I saw the finish line. What kept me going, what made me finish, was the fact that by the time I got to the finish line, crowds had gathered and cheered me on! They encouraged me to cross that line, to complete what I had started. That was an amazing feeling, knowing I had a community there to support me.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let 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 perfector of our faith.” Hebrew 12:1-2
The Apostle Paul compares our faith to a race. We’re all in a race! For those of you that are runners, you know that there are times when running a race can be easy, and other times it can be just plain hard. It’s the same with our faith race. There are times when we don’t experience challenges in our faith, when it’s a breeze to put our faith and trust in God. But then there are times when we struggle, when we doubt, when we feel challenged. And that’s okay.
Our goal is the finish line where we meet God and join the saints in light. What’s wonderful is knowing that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, supporting us, cheering us on, saying “You got this! ... We’re with you! ... Keep going!”
And we are reminded that Christ comes to our aid when we grow weary but also gives us something to keep running for. Keep the faith, keep running and keep your eyes on Jesus.
Kate Mensing is the Pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Isle.