Hi to all of my friends stopping by from Encouragement for Today. Click here to receive the free video series: Pacing Your Schedule to His Purposes.
In a moment of insanity I said yes. I didn’t even say it begrudgingly. I said yes, and I meant it.
The voice on the other end of the phone sounded positive, encouraging and very convincing. She must have persuaded me with her pitch, because before we hung up I had agreed to join her.
Together, my sister and I would train for and run a half-marathon.
Never mind the fact that my 6th child was only 4 months old, or the fact that the entire family had just gotten over the flu. My mind was made up. This was certainly a good idea.
The following weeks included a get-you-off-the-couch kind of plan, a new hat that said “run” on the front and a watch that documented how far I went and how long it took me to get there.
I ran. A lot.
My first steps towards the goal felt exciting and promising. I looked forward to the progress I expected would follow my training. But after a few weeks of running the same way every day, I longed for results faster than the road produced them.
I took matters into my own hands, and I picked up the pace.
I wanted to go further and get there faster. The weeks of methodically putting one foot in front of the other weren’t enough anymore. I figured a change of pace might be my answer. So I pushed it. But I didn’t get the results I was looking for.
I ran the same road in the same shoes with the same hat, but this time I couldn’t finish.
I paced myself too fast, and I wore out long before I reached the finish line.
It didn’t take long for me to give up running entirely. I never ran the half-marathon, but my training taught me something.
When we pace ourselves correctly we can go a lot further than we think.
It’s when we pace ourselves too fast that we burn out and cannot finish the race.
Hebrews 12:1 tells of another race. A race all followers of Jesus are called to run.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
God has set a race before us, and it will take perseverance to finish it. But, the next verse tells us how we’ll get there, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
I used to separate the first part of this verse from the last. I thought I could sum it all up by saying keep your eyes on Jesus. But the end of the verse tells us why this is so important.
Jesus knows the perfect pace for each leg of our race. He positions us exactly where we need to be in order for our faith to be perfected. His voice calls us into the race, and when we keep our eyes on Him, He takes us to the finish line.
As we head into what can be one of the most demanding times of the year, where distractions abound and our pace reaches new heights, I’d love for you to join me for the free video series, Pacing Your Schedule to His Purposes.
You’ll get one short video a day for 5 days (each video is less than 4 minutes long!). Let’s pause to let God set our pace, then celebrate as we find all we need in Jesus.