A couple of days ago I decided to take advantage of our amazing weather (75 degrees in January, really?!) and go for a walk. I found a high school football field with a track surrounding it that looked somewhat daunting; but nevertheless curiously beckoned me, so I pushed through the turnstile and set off around the track.
As I began to walk, I noticed that lanes had been carefully created by strong white lines to contrast against the black-gray asphalt. Each lane was given a number ranging from 1-8. Number one was closest to the field, while number eight was on the outer perimeter.
I imagined that if I was a runner I would want number 1, the inside track, because it seemed that tighter turns and less distractions would make it easier to cross the finish line first!
The Christian life is likened to a race. But unlike a earthly footrace, we are not competing against anyone else to finish first.
Jesus emphasized the importance of keeping our eyes on Him instead of others as we make it down life’s path, a few days after His resurrection from the dead.
On the shores of the sea of Galilee that bright morning, Peter was just getting his footing back after his denial of the Lord, when he was reunited with and recommissioned by Jesus.
As together, they began making their way down the beach, the text says:
“Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” (John 21:20-22)
Peter was concerned about what John was going to do, but Jesus redirects Peter, by basically telling him: ”leave the details of John’s life to Me. You, just focus on following Me, Peter.”
It can be easy to get distracted by others as we set out to follow Jesus, especially if we are unclear as to what lane we are to run in.
God has given each of us gifts, talents, abilities and even seeming disabilities that create a unique racetrack, perfectly marked out for us according to our Coach’s will.
We only create stumbling blocks and setbacks for ourselves and possibly others, when we try to run in someone else’s shoes.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:12 that those who compare themselves to others are unwise.
And in the very next verse he elaborates with this statement:
“We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us- a sphere which especially includes you . ( 2 Cor 10:13)
We each have a specific, God designed sphere of influence.
So, what has God called you to do? Where has He called you to go today? Who has He placed in your path?
Whether it’s working in or out of the home, going on a missions trip or a trip to the local grocery store, though you may not feel like it, as you are faithfully running your race with Jesus, He is using you to impact those He has strategically placed around you in the arena of life.
On that day, when you reach the finish line,.... you’ll see.
But today, don’t trip by looking at someone who might appear to be running more swiftly or gracefully than you are
Stay in your lane by using all you have been given, with all your heart to build the Kingdom of God.
And run for His glory by keeping your eyes on Jesus.-That’s the inside track!
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
- As for me, I am continuing to take the medication daily. Many of the side effects have alleviated. Praise God! I will see the doctor again on January 16th. I’ll keep you updated, and as always appreciate your prayers,
*As we continue on this race of faith together, I’ll keep sharing my thoughts, as the Lord allows, through this blog. -
Waiting for Jesus,