Hebrews 12:1-2  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)

When I was in High School, I used to enjoy long distance running. Going around the track twenty times or more gave me moments of solitude and clarity that enabled me to find solutions to some of the problems and issues I faced as a teenager. Most of the things that burdened me were brought on by my foolish and selfish ways. Running around the sports field gave me the time that I needed to sort things out in my heart and head. It was an effective way of facing my faults and thinking through my thoughts. Usually, when it came to running around the last track, I felt much better than I did when I started.

The older I get, the more I realize that life itself is a long-distance run. Through the years, I’ve made more mistakes than I can possibly remember and am burdened with a number of regrets. I cannot change the past, nor the route that I have followed, but my faith has endured so that when I look ahead and think about what’s left of this lifetime run, I see Jesus at the finish line. Knowing He is there, encourages me to throw off those past burdens which hinder me and fix my eyes on Him. That’s when I realize that this whole journey of going through life has but one purpose: to run to Jesus, the perfecter of my faith, and be welcomed by Him.

I don’t know what problems you are facing or how many burdens you’re carrying in your hearts; I don’t know what fears you have or regrets that weigh you down, but this I do know, you can throw them all off today and lay them down before Jesus – then you can continue to run this beautiful race that we call life, knowing that at the end Jesus will still be there, waiting for you.

Q: What is burdening me right now and hindering my enjoyment of life? Am I ready to hand it over to Jesus and let Him cheer me on?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us completely and fully understand our weaknesses and worries, anxieties and cares. Help us to lay them down before You, as we fix our eyes upon You. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

Today’s image is an old favorite drawing of John’s called “A New Earth.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.