Hebrews 12:1. “…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
One of the phrases you’ll frequently hear among fellow runners in conversation is this: “What’s your pace?” It’s also a question most registration forms require an answer to when signing up for a half or full marathon. Deep down we probably know the answer to that question, yet sometimes we may be tempted to alter this figure so as to appear faster. Some runners are fast and can run like the wind no matter what the distance. But for me, long distance running is all about endurance. Speed is not a priority.
Could I run faster at the start? Absolutely!
Could I run at that pace throughout the entire race? Absolutely NOT!
If I started off running with all my might, I’d be sick to my stomach for the rest of the race. So I pace myself, trying to remember that it doesn’t matter if people are passing me quickly. It doesn’t matter who is in front of me. It doesn’t matter if someone else crosses the finish line before I do. My determination is focused on finishing the race. At my own unique pace.
Even if you don’t consider yourself an elite runner, as a follower of Christ you are in a race. Not a physical race, but a spiritual race. Maybe you’ve never thought of your life as a race, but it really is. Our goal is Jesus. We should desire to finish well and have Him say to us “Welcome home good and faithful servant.”
But if I compare myself to someone else’s pace, I’ll crash and burn if I try to keep up with them. Trying to keep up with your friend who’s further ahead in their life’s journey would be like a brand new runner trying to keep up with a veteran marathoner. Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Yet we often try to keep up with others to achieve a certain image. Or perhaps we feel unrealistic pressure from others to keep up with them. Sometimes pride drives us to run someone else’s pace. Or maybe it’s fear of walking a leg of the race alone. Whatever the motive is, it’s not good if it isn’t where God wants us. We are designed to live this life at the unique pace God calls us to. This life is definitely not a quick sprint, but a marathon with lots of twists and turns. Lots of valleys and hills. And sometimes a lot of flat land in between.
READY? Are you in a season where things are rough? Are you at the start line of a new adventure God is calling you to? Or maybe you feel as if you’re plugging along slowly in a desert land with no oasis in sight. Ask God to show you where you’re running ahead too quickly or not quickly enough. Wherever you may be, pace yourself.
GET SET. Galatians 5:25 “Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit.”
GO! Dear God, I confess that sometimes I try to run my race of faith at a pace you simply did not design me for. Forgive me for running in my own power instead of relying on the Holy Spirit. Help me surrender completely to the purpose you created me for as I run with endurance each step of the way. Amen
Blessings to you!