"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
How often I have lost strength in the race that we are called to run; how often I have taken everything upon myself and left behind the One that is running through me.
I strive to live by this verse, yet, frankly, sometimes I don't make it to the end. I am willing and ready to lay aside all my weights, get my running shoes on, and get warmed up; but, I forget the patience that I am to run the race with. I get frustrated when there are obstacles on the course and in trying to avoid them I get off the trail and end up going my own way. Sometimes, in my zealous haste I get so burnt out that I slip into slumber on the side of the road.
I am reminded of the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare knew he had the race in hand, he did not take stop to get instruction on how to win the race. Where did he end up? Sleeping!
The tortoise on the other hand knew what he needed to do and he patiently trudged along, looking toward his mark. This won him the race!
You may wonder why when you feel so "ready to go" in your Christian walk (err, run) that you find yourself a little later on, let down, disappointed because things didn't go your way, and you are further away from the Lord.
It's because, we weren't made to run this race alone or in our own power. We are to "...run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..."
Patience in the greek means: "cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: - enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting)."
Waiting does not mean to sit there and do nothing; it means to actively pursue what the Lord has for us, yet doing it through Him, by Him, and for Him.
"We are to look unto Jesus!"
Looking unto Jesus, which is our mark, will win us the race just like the tortoise did, if we patiently wait on the Lord!!