Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Run With Perserverance

Hebrews 12:1

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…

As I write this – three of my favorite teams are dealing with different parts of a trying season. The Baltimore Orioles have started well – and after 32 games they have the second best record in Major League baseball. Unfortunately – for now – the team with the best record in MLB is a half game ahead of them in their division. The season is long (162 games) and so they have a lot of games left. If their pitching holds up – their defense as well – and their offense begins to come around it should be a nice season for sure. (By the way – the O’s are facing the Nationals in a series right now and the Nat’s are close behind the O’s in record in the National League.) It takes perseverance to succeed in the long season.

The Washington Wizards are tied up in their second round playoff series with the Boston Celtics – 2 wins and 2 loses. They return to Boston for game 5 and the hope is they win there and win at home in game 6 to move on in the playoffs (they have won the last two games at home). Their guards are leading the way as they combine to score a large portion of their points and play defense against a rising super star on the Celtics. If they win this series they will face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the conference championship and if they win that they will face the Golden State Warriors I imagine. For now – let’s get past Boston. Basketball has a long season as well. It seems they only play the regular season in order to determine the pecking order of the playoffs – the real season. It takes perseverance to succeed in the long season.

The Washington Capitals have come back from elimination and squared the series 3 wins to 3 loses with the Pittsburg Penguins. Game 7 will determine who goes further. It is my humble opinion (and I must say I don’t follow hockey very much) that the winner of this series will win the Stanley Cup. The hockey season is another long season with many games. Again – played it seems to determine the pecking order of the playoffs. It takes perseverance to succeed in the long season.

Our lives are often long journeys as well – if we are so blessed with 60-100 years. Somewhere in our journey – if we are Christians – we came to know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. At that point a new journey began – a journey of faith walking with Jesus. Today’s passage speaks of this journey – this race – marked out for us. It takes perseverance to succeed in our spiritual journey.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Hebrews 12:1-3 – 1 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.

In sports we are called to become focused on a personal (in an individual sport like golf) or a team goal. In the examples I listed above the Orioles – the Wizards – the Capitals – should be unified in their focus to win a championship. I never played for a team that didn’t set goals and strive to achieve them. We were asked to throw off anything that might keep us from reaching our goal.

In our spiritual journey – we are called to – throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. We are to become and remain focused on Jesus – running with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

In team or individual sports – we will not have success unless we focus – unless we aim at the goal. A quote from the movie – The Patriot – tells us to aim small – miss small. This bit of lore gives us good advice even in our faith journey. Aim at Jesus and His perfect plan and if we miss – we will miss small. One of my favorite sayings is – aim at nothing and you are bound to hit it. Makes sense – even in our spiritual lives dear readers. It takes perseverance to succeed in the life’s spiritual journey.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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May 10, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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