The U.S. women’s Olympic team in the 10,000 meters, left to right: Lisa Uhl, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, Amy Hastings.
I get to work at 7 AM, which allows me to leave at 3:30 PM. This afternoon, as I’ve done every day this week, I came home and turned on the TV to watch what was going on at the Olympics. Usually, the most popular events are held in the evening so that the network can improve their ratings. While most of the events aren’t all that interesting to me, I have it on anyway.
Today, I had the chance to watch the women’s 10,000 meter finals. At the beginning of the race, the 3 Japanese women and 1 American were in a pack of their own out in front of the large trailing pack. There one woman who dropped out of the race; unable to complete the over 6 mile contest. By the time the women were nearly done, the pack of women changed. The 4 women who led at the beginning of the race were in 9th, 10th, and 11th place and the new leaders were cruising way ahead. The 1st place runner got a last burst of speed and she cruised through the finish line 6 seconds ahead of the 2nd place runner.
This got me thinking about the book of Hebrews. I’m not a runner. It’s not something that I ever had the desire to do. Besides, it means I’d have to sweat. Really? Gross! Anyway, the letter to the Hebrews, traditionally thought to be from Paul, warns the Hebrews not to go back to their Jewish faith, which was full of law and sacrifice, but to remain faithful to the better Christian faith, which was about Jesus’ perfect and ultimate sacrifice. The Hebrews are encouraged to endure.
Today, we continue to need this encouragement to endure the hardships and trials of this life. Christians today are made to feel narrow-minded and old-fashioned by the world and I say to you, “ENDURE!” because you know how the story ends.
1) Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2) fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3) For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. - Hebrews 12:1-3