Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1
Joseph Stowell in his book ‘Fan the Flame’ records how the ancients “Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit.”
How apt this for illustrating the ‘race’ every true believer is in. This year will hold all sorts of hurdles, trials and challenges that will demand our perseverance in this ‘race’ of life. For that is what our lives lived for the glory of God are. We are in a race folks. Not a race like the hundred-meter sprint - but rather, more like a marathon. It is ongoing, demanding and will require endurance. Our race is not about competing with one another, but about keeping our torch lit - our faith alive and vibrant for the Lord. In other words we should face whatever may lie before us with the conviction and dependence on the Lord for strength, to run all the way with the flame of our torch still lit for Him.
This is not my idea, for, as you know the apostle Paul was well acquainted with the athletic games in his day. He used this same analogy by saying of himself in 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
May I take this opportunity to encourage all to keep on fanning the flame.... to keep on keeping on... to run in such a way “not to run aimlessly” but with endurance, the race that is set before us.