When I was in high school, my favorite sport was track and field. I’d run sprints, hurdles and relay races. And when doing so, I would wear clothing that was light, ventilated and aerodynamic. I wanted every advantage. I didn’t want anything to hinder, or impede, my race. It also helped to know that I had a crowd of supporters cheering me on, inspiring me to run the best race that I could. Hebrews explains that our spiritual race is similar; that we have a race to run where the prize isn’t a metal, but something much more eternal. It says in chapter 12, verse 1:
“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.”
Notice that the author doesn’t say that we should lay aside everything that hinders, he says that we are to throw them off. This suggests that we should violently shed anything, any sin, that hinders us or entangles us. As the verse suggests, there have been many who have gone before us; a great cloud of witnesses, those who have lived and many who have died for Jesus. Let us be like them. Let us focus on our race; the race that has been marked out for us. And let us run with perseverance, not giving up and not slowing down. I encourage you to run your race with a goal to win. Throw off any sin that hinders and run with perseverance every day until you reach the finish line.
Hebrews reminds us that we are all running a spiritual race. How is your race? We all perform best when we run without hinderances. When training, many athletes wear weight vests, wrist weights or even masks that hinder their breathing. But when the race is on, they throw off all that hinders and run to win. We should do the same, spiritually speaking. I encourage you to remember why you are here and where you are going. This is not your home, but how you run your race will determine how you will spend eternity. Will it be in heaven, will it be in hell, or will you run just hard enough to barely make it through the “pearly gates”? I encourage you to run with perseverance. I encourage you to run to win.