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I was never the fast kid in gym class. In fact, during the annual Presidential Fitness mile-run test, I often finished close to last and didn’t know why. Why couldn’t my legs move faster? Why couldn’t I get my breath right? It wasn’t until recently — 20 years later — I learned my technique needed help. I was carrying my weight wrong. I was dragging my feet. My knees were low. I wasn’t being efficient.
Isn’t it the same in our walk with the Lord? We carry baggage we weren’t meant to carry and drag our feet in lagging obedience. Hebrews 12:1 reminds us to “…throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” But what does that look like, and how can we start this academic year running the race efficiently?
On the track, if a runner is weighed down by heavy shoes or clothing, an efficient run — and a win — rarely happens. The same holds true for your spiritual race. Bad character — stealing, lying, gossiping, judging — are all weights that hold you back from running efficiently. Instead, the Word tells us to clothes ourselves “in Christ.” Run your spiritual race with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12). Only then can you be light-footed, efficient and free.
A runner will only be as good as the support system behind him — the coach, massage therapist, physical therapist, trainer, nutritionist, and cheerleaders (often Mom and Dad). If support lacks, the runner suffers. The same principle holds true for you. Proverbs 13:20 tells us to “walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Surround yourselves with peers who support you and your goals, who hold similar beliefs and character and will keep you accountable. Those are true friends.
Every racer wants to finish first. But at what cost? Does it take bad-mouthing competition? Tripping or pushing? Does it take trampling over others to be the best? Mathew 20:16 teaches us that, in the end, “the last will be first, and the first will be last.” In our spiritual walk, it means treating others with respect, dignity, and looking out for the ambitions of others instead of using them for personal gain.
In order to run a race, you physically need to get up and move. Do you want to run a spiritual race? You need to do the same — get up and move! Live your life with an active faith which worships and studies and listens and obeys. Put into practice what you know, what you believe, and run.
So, just as adjusting technicalities makes for a more efficient runner, throwing off sin makes for a more fruitful spiritual race. And while most of us will never win an Olympic Gold medal, we have hope in the crown of glory awaiting us in Christ Jesus. Now, throw off the weight and run!
Want to learn more about how we prepare our students to learn, to lead and to serve faithfully in God’s world? Contact us to schedule a time to talk or visit BCS!