"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." Hebrews 12:1
If you can't tell from my previous post, I went running yesterday for the first time in several weeks.
It was grueling. It was ugly. It was painful. It was torture. It was not pretty. I was not a candidate for a marathon. I was not even a candidate for a sprint. I breathed like an asthmatic. I thought I was dying. I questioned more than once why I was spending valuable free time like this.
And then I hit the place in my run that I always hit. This one certain dowhill slope when the run gets suddenly easier. It was beautiful. It was exhilarating. It was inspiring. I was an inspiration to myself. The sun was shining on me! The air was fresh and clean! The birds were singing! I was outside, enjoying nature. I felt free and purposeful.
As I ran, I listened to Matchbox 20 sing these words: "Everyone here hides shades of shame. But looking inside we're the same, we're the same. And we're all grown now, yeah but we don't know how. To get it back to good." And I thought about how true those words are. And how, apart from Jesus, we can't ever get back to good.
And as I rounded the corner and saw my home up ahead, beckoning to me, I realized that this run had been a lot like life. We all have our times we struggle and strain, pressing on against pain and uncertainty for reasons we can't quite name in the heat of the moment. We lose sight of our calling, our purpose, the greater good, because it just hurts too much to keep going. We want to quit. And that is what the voices in our head scream at us.
And then suddenly, it gets just a little bit easier. We hit our stride. The pain eases. Our perspective is renewed in this respite. We look around for the first time and see what's out there for us to enjoy. Up ahead we see our home, shining like a beacon. Our true home, the place our souls were created for. And we are renewed as we run just a bit faster, straining towards that home, and the Father who waits for us there. Knowing that this is why we run. This is why we endure. And this is what we were created to do. That the key to getting back to good is getting back to our true home, for what waits for us at the end of this race.
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31