Recently I began reading a book entitled Lead by Paul Tripp. Haven’t finished yet, reading it slowly to take in some of the truths that he talks about. It’s a book on Christian Leadership, within the Church, to be specific, however, I believe the principles that he is mentioning easily applies to all areas of life.
During this unpredictable time, it has become clearer and more clearer, at least for me, that God is teaching or trying to teach me something. There is a lesson to be learned. Whether it’s to spend more time with my family, pouring into our boys, working on being consistent in all aspects of life, or perhaps I need to focus in on my skill set as a teacher – whatever it may be, I need to be paying attention.
As some of you know, I’ve been on a journey, personal goals, not entirely sure if that’s the right word, but nevertheless, my journey on running. What began like 5 years ago, back when we lived in Canada, it has taken me the past 5 years to get to the point of where I am. I can remember clearly trying to run 1 km. It almost killed me. I ran at school, during our lunch hour with some great friends and colleagues. I also participated in a 5 km run – Fork in the Road, with a dear friend that I miss. That 5 km turned into a 7km run. We made so many wrong turns and detours, that finishing the race was the goal, let alone trying to complete the race within a reasonable timeframe. My brother in the Lord, was with me all the way. Constantly encouraging, being positive as he always is.
Fast forward 5 years later, living in Hong Kong, I now am capable and able to run 10 km with some ease. Thankful. This reminds of what the Apostle Paul writes in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Paul reminds us first, that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. How we interpret this passage matters, however, we are told that people are watching us, there are witnesses. But the section that I’m drawn to is “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” What is this race? I believe he’s talking about the race called life. We are exhorted to run with endurance. This is a cross country type of race. This is not a sprint. We are are going to encounter obstacles along the way. Some of these obstacles will cause us to struggle, to stumble, but we must pick ourselves up. Some of the obstacles will cause us to make detours, unexpected detours where we will have to problem solve quickly. Either way, we are to endure.
Christ, endured the Cross on our behalf. If our Lord Jesus, was able to do so, how much more, should we ought to endure this race. I want to finish strong, not just finish the race like I did 5 years ago.
Paul Tripp writes in his book Lead, “Difficult things in ministry are meant by God to be redemptive things. What often beats us down is meant by the Saviour to be a tool to build us up. What would make us want to quit is meant by him to strenghthen us for the battles to come.” Such encouraging words in a time of uncertainity and unpredictability. Pray that I may see this in my own life. Pray that you be encouraged by what the Lord is teaching you lately.