The analogy of running the race is used in many places throughout the New Testament. The people of that day understood the analogy. Races were conducted on days of national festivity. The emperor was in regal attire sitting within his purple curtained booth. There was row upon row reaching upward of a vast multitude of spectators. Every eye was fixed on the runners who were straining every muscle. The aim of athletes was nothing short of winning. To win the race demanded stamina, perseverance, dedication, and discipline. The runners were willing to give up everything to win the gold. Champions received the adulation and unlimited benefits from his city.
The Christian life is not a short sprint, but rather like a marathon for a runner. It is hard work. The word for race in the Greek is “agon.” It is the root word that we get our word “agony.” The race is an agonizing, tough marathon…26 miles, 385 yards.
The author of Hebrews tells you to run with perseverance the course marked out for you. Your own unique course planned out in advance by God for you. It is wonderfully reassuring that we only have to run our course. We do not have to run someone else’s race, only our own.
- For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
- Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind & straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
As you run, don’t look around, and don’t look back. Look straight ahead so that you stay on the right course. Keep your FOCUS! After all, you will have enough to handle on your own course!