Reading: Hebrews 12: 1-2
Paul encourages us to “run the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus”. It is a call to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as we run the course that He marked out for us as He lived His earthly life. There are challenges and days where it seems harder to run the race Jesus ran, but when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the race is easier. When we focus on the one ahead leading the race, it is easier to keep pace and to follow.
To keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we must connect to Him daily. Prayer and study are our two primary ways. Through reading and studying the scriptures each day we gain a better understanding of both the runners and the race. In Jesus we find the perfect runner and we also see how to run the perfect race. In the people Jesus encountered we see the runners who were struggling with the race and we hear Jesus’ words of wisdom and encouragement on running the race. In these runners we often see our own struggles and hear the words Jesus spoke as words spoken to us as well.
Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus can be a challenge. Paul begins the passage for today by encouraging us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles”. Paul knows that much will try and garner our attention and focus. He knows that much will try and hold us back from living a life dedicated to Jesus. The many pressures society places on us can greatly hinder us if we cannot look past them and keep our eyes focused on Jesus. Temptation is all around us. Sin can easily entangle us and can keep us off the race track. It is when we focus on Jesus that the sin and temptation loose their power over us.
May we fix our eyes on Jesus today and run our race with perseverance so that one day we too may know the joy of the cross.