Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility ag– Hebrews 12:1-3
Yesterday I volunteered at 7Hills Day Center in Fayetteville. I served with a team that gave out shirts, underwear, socks, hand sanitizer, till we ran out, lots of little things we all need. We also distributed mail, and coffee. Very simple tasks. I was on my feet for about five ours. Yesterday evening I felt like I had run a race. My normal pain was a lot worse and nothing really helps the pain I have. I couldn’t sleep. All in all, I was pretty miserable physically.
I’ve never liked running that much. Playing high school basketball it was always punishment to run. I think that has stuck with me or maybe I’m just lazy. Either way, when I move my body now it is much more painful than ever before and it’s frustrating. But that’s ok. It is what it is and if we stop moving, we start dying.
Our faith journey is no different. If we are not moving forward, we are not living into our salvation. We are abandoning the race we have been called to run. This has been further complicated by our current struggles with the Corona virus. But with every struggle there is an opportunity. With my pain I’ve discovered much more empathy for others. I’ve discovered how to listen to my body and not punish myself when I physically can’t function. I’ve found an appreciation for even the ability to move, and see, and hear, and all the other abilities our bodies and mind provide.
We are missing our normal routines. Our normal is not normal. We are called to run a quarantine race within the race to protect ourselves and others. Now is the time to not get weary. We are somewhere in the middle of a marathon. Speed is not the issue. Endurance is the issue. Keep moving, if only very slowly. Keep moving forward. This race will end and we will all celebrate. Our faith journey is a much longer race. It’s the race of a lifetime. One that we will finish, but not today. Jesus endured much more than we can imagine. Physical pain along with the pain of our human failings that left him betrayed and alone. We have reached the middle of Holy Week. Keep moving forward. Darkness is coming but there is a light waiting to shine. Take some time to pray. Take some time to search the scriptures. Take some time to listen to your body. Take some time to ponder the struggles others also face. In all these things our faith moves forward. We develop a better understanding of God, ourselves and others.
We may grow weary, but we will not lose heart. Every day I encounter the goodness of humanity. The goodness that Christ brings out in all of us. The goodness of the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us and those still with us. So run! Run and live like never before. Run towards the light of resurrection. Easter is coming. New life is on the horizon. Run to the light.
Amen and Amen!
Stay safe. Stay healthy and proclaim the gospel.