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Words by VLB

Run the Race

Can we be honest for a minute? Running is kind of the worst.

Even though I'd call myself a runner, I'll also admit that it's very boring and very hard and it makes your lungs burn.

But, for some reason, I keep going back for more. Even after the most painfully slow, dreadful run, I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement again.

As much as running can physically hurt, those long and sweaty miles have become my favorite place. Running helps me to clear my mind and honor the body that God so graciously gave me. So I keep on running.

I'm not asking you to love running like I do, but consider this: runners and non-runners alike, we all have a long journey ahead of us. We are all moving toward the same finish line, striving to make our time on this earth feel whole and complete. When the race comes to an end, we all hope we can look back on our days without regret. The race I'm talking about here is our lives.

Along the way, we will pick up passions, places, and people. We will mourn, rejoice, fail, and succeed. Sometimes the jog will be effortless, and other times it will take everything we have just to get one foot in front of the other.

Maybe you've never thought about your time on earth this way. I hadn't either, until I came across Hebrews 12:1-2. It says, "we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us."

In the last few weeks of my half marathon training, I've had a lot of time to think about Hebrews 12:1 and 2 while I run. I always come back to the way it calls life a "marathon race." Hebrews doesn't compare our lives with a sprint, but instead, it recognizes that the race of life is tedious and time intensive. To run this long race, we need training, rest, and confidence.

If we are going to run an entire marathon, we better have some inspiration to finish this thing. A half-hearted spirit cannot carry us through the whole 26.2. Thankfully, Hebrews answers our questions about how we should run the race. We are called to run with passion and determination.

We are called to live with passion and determination.

What would a life of passion and determination look like for you? Would you be more productive, more fulfilled? Maybe you'd be able to accomplish more of what God put you on this earth to do. Perhaps you'd find more joy in the everyday. I bet you'd feel more alive.

What dreams would you chase after? What challenges would you finally decide to tackle?

Our whole purpose changes when we agree to live life to the full, to run this race with passion and determination, to honor the One who laid out this crazy path before us.

But, if we're not careful, we'll waste miles of our race striving to control the course. Thankfully, just like marathon runners don't have to map out their 26.2 mile track on race day, Hebrews tells us that our path was already marked out before us.

God took the time to carefully plan a unique race course for each and every one of us. Your race may look very different than mine, and that's okay. What's important is that we aren't the ones in charge of planning the path (thank goodness!)

So, that's my piece on running. We're all participants in a grand race - it's long, it demands all we have, but with passion and determination, we'll cross the finish line forever changed. We don't have to stress and strive about our course because God already mapped it out for us.

Now, my friend - please run that race with all you've got.

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