About Impact

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Committed Runners

Clearly this is not me running!
I have several friends who love to run. My sister ran on our school’s cross country team. I had a close friend who ran the Boston Marathon. I even had a friend run across the continental United States!  With so many friends sharing their incredible stories about running, I decided I would start training for a 5K. It was hard!! I got tired, frustrated, and angry. Every muscle in my body hurt. I decided it was a terrible idea and quit after two weeks. A few months later, I was sharing this with my friend who ran the Boston Marathon. She started talking about the infamous “runner’s high” and how great running feels after you push through the hard parts. I told her I hated running and would never experience the good, because I didn’t want to deal with the hard stuff.

Unfortunately, this is how many of us treat our faith journeys and the call to discipleship. Paul and the author of Hebrews both use the analogy of running a race to describe our call to live as disciples of Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scoring its shame, and sat down at the right had of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

As a church, we made a decision that because we are disciples of Jesus, we would commit to being the Church. For the last two months we have expanded on this commitment by studying what it looks like to be the Church. As a church family we have committed ourselves to these things.
  •     Committed to loving the Church
  •     Committed to making the Lord’s Supper a priority each week
  •     Committed to embracing the diversity of the Kingdom
  •     Committed to the Scriptures
  •     Committed to prayer
  •     Committed to being good stewards
  •     Committed to rest
  •     Committed to Kingdom work
  •     Committed to making disciples

Like running a race, being a disciple and living out these commitments is not always easy. There are days and seasons in our life where it is very difficult to follow Jesus. I may decide to throw in the towel or allow myself to get easily distracted when it comes to running a 5K, but I never want to be accused of these things when it comes to my pursuit of Jesus. The church of Galatia was accused of this. Paul wrote to them saying, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)

The commitment we have made as a church family will not always be easy, but it is always the race worth running. When it is hard, we carry each other. When it isn’t so hard, we run side by side. We invite others to run with us. Perhaps you have already forgotten about our new year’s resolution. So let me invite you to run with me, church family. Run with me!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run is such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the game goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25