I like to read about or listen to podcasts about running, even though I do not do much of that any more, and I’ve made some comparisons between the Christian life and long-distance running. In Hebrews 12:1 it says, 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.
The Christian life is an endurance race, and I would like to mention three things that are important to both our Christian walk and long-distance running.
1. A Day of rest
I find it interesting that there is the need for a day of rest when training for long distance running. Runners are proving what we already know from the Bible. As it says on one running site, “Rest days should be considered an important part of the big picture of your training. Just as you would schedule a long run or speed workout, you should also factor in at least one day a week to recover.”
2. Lay aside every weight
When running a 100-mile race or a 240-mile race, a runner will make sure not to be carrying a load that he does not need. There are things that are essential like hydration, but any extra unneeded weight, even if it is a seemingly small amount, can be their undoing. It is the same with our Christian walk: we can get worn out carrying burdens we are not meant to carry. This Sabbath let’s make sure we’re laying down burdens that God did not mean for us to carry. And unless they are a God-given responsibility, leave them at Jesus’ feet at the end of the Sabbath.
Hydration is a science for long distance runners. If it is not kept up with at the first part of the race, it can leave a runner in a situation that they cannot overcome later. Some ways of dealing with it are to go into the race hydrated, and to keep drinking appropriate amounts as you’re running. Hydration for the Christian is like coming to the throne of grace. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16, ESV
Ever since Jesus came, this source of life-giving water has been available, but how often have we walked around spiritually dehydrated when we did not have to? This Sabbath let’s come to that throne of grace and freely take of the perfectly balanced hydration drink.
The Spirit and the Bride say, ”Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 22:17, ESV
And let’s pray that on this Sabbath others, too, will find this water of life.