Guest Contributor
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Wednesday, March 31

Contributed by Ian Rokeby 

Hebrews 12:1-3

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, fixing our eyes on
Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Sprints and Marathons. The image of the Christian life as a race is both
exhilarating and intimidating. Our motivation for running this race is Jesus—
what could be more compelling? And yet we know we don’t measure up—we
trip and stumble and get lost with distressing frequency. This race is a long,
challenging affair.
It has become popular in planning church activities to distinguish between
“sprint” and “marathon” events. Today we find people are not receptive to
open-ended commitments. The conventional wisdom is that our invitations
will meet with better response if we offer opportunities to participate in a series
of sprints—short duration activities. “Would you like to join our Advent Bible
Study—only five Wednesdays on Zoom?” I confess that this approach is
more likely to produce a positive response from me!
And yet the race described in this passage—the Christian life—is a long-term
commitment, marked by opposition and requiring discipline, drive, and
perseverance from us. Truly a marathon.
While individual “chapters” of our life of obedience may appear as sprints, in
reality they are connected together into one great marathon, as we run with
perseverance the course set before us. We need not fear the long, lonely
stretches ahead providing we keep our eyes on Jesus and trust him to be with
us on the road ahead.

Lord Jesus, strengthen our resolve to keep our eyes focused on you, and help
us rely on your presence with us as we run the race set before us.

Ian Rokeby is a Ruling Elder at Gordon Presbyterian Church in Burnaby, BC. He serves as Convenor of the St. Andrew’s Hall Board. Ian is a professional engineer working in the transportation infrastructure sector. His hobbies include cycling, skiing, wood-working and camping. Ian and his wife Barbara have two adult sons.