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AlisaI adore you!  I see so much of myself in you, but the main thing I see is that you run full speed ahead and sprint your way from thought to thought, feeling to feeling, even hope to hope.  I may not be a runner, but I do know the training that goes into a marathon is arduous, it’s HARD, it requires discipline and commitment.  It also requires a “No Pain, No Gain” type of endurance that pushes people right out of their comfort zones into the last few miles of their race. This can also be said for life and the hardships we endure.

raceHebrews 12:1-3 – 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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

race2Growing weary is a battle I see you struggle with everyday.  Running full speed ahead on long journeys thinking that the finish line is just around the corner is absolutely exhausting.  Attempting to prove yourself to others that you KNOW how to run is not why you are here.  You have grown so much these past 3 months.  You are not even the same.  You are stepping into your leadership role with grace, but you are still running….HARD.  You can’t run a race very well toting a backpack full of rocks, especially a marathon. My bag of rocks, the extra baggage, the weight of responsibility, the overwhelming desire to show everyone and myself that I could do this, my hidden sins, would slow me down and I would fall so hard under the weight of scrutiny, not even close to the goal and finish line that God had for me.  Then the next pair of running shoes would be put on and I would run in the opposite direction toward the comfort of all I have really ever known….destruction.  Your goal is to be Christ-like and to follow in the footsteps of THE PIONEER, Jesus, who blazed the road ahead of you so that you can run with ease.  When the cycle comes around that you are so familiar with and your internal whistle goes off signifying a new race, don’t turn around and run in the opposite direction.  Stop sprinting and pace yourself and you then can make it to the finish line that God has for you. 

race32 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

In the story of the tortoise and the hare, the hare was so confident in his running abilities that he laid down and took a nap.  Now is not the time to lay down.  The tortoise won that race, because he moved slowly and allowed his boastful competitor to run himself out of steam. 

The question you need to ask yourself everyday is this: Are you running, training, or on the sidelines watching?  It’s time to take your leadership role and run this race with perseverance, not looking to the right or the left for your teammates, but fixing your eyes on Jesus.  Marathons aren’t easy, and neither is life, but with a slow, steady pace, the turtle finished the race.

race51 Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.