Consider this admonition from the author of Hebrews: "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" Hebrews 12:1
Had golf existed in the New Testament era, I'm sure the writers would have spoken of mulligans and foot wedges, but it didn't, so they wrote about running. The word RACE is from the Greek AGOM, from which we get the word AGONY. The Christians's race is not a jog but rather a demanding and grueling, sometimes agonizing race. It takes a massive effort to finish strong.
Likely you've noticed that many don't? Surely you've observed there are many on the side of the trail? They used to be running. There was a time when they kept the pace. But then weariness set in. They didn't think the run would be this tough. Or they were discouraged by a bump and daunted by a fellow runner. Whatever the reason, they don't run anymore. They may be Christians. They may come to church. They may put a buck in the plate and warm a pew, but their hears aren't in the race. They retired before their time. Unless something changes, their best work will have been their first work, and they will finish with a whimper.
By contrast, Jesus' best work was His final work, and His strongest step was His last step. Our Master is the classic example of one who endured. The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that Jesus "endured such hostility from sinners against Himself". The Bible says Jesus 'endured," implying that Jesus could have "let go." The runner could have given up, sat down, gone home. He could have quit the race. But He didn't. He "endured such hostility from sinners against Himself. (From Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado)I believe that answers the question why right there. We will endure something. It might be life changing or altering, or maybe even life taking. It may last, it may not. But we are promised a race of endurance. Maybe it's our race, maybe our children's, maybe our parents or our spouse. Maybe it's a friend you love deeply.
I really hate running- I mean I HATE running. If there isn't a bleeding child involved it just isn't going to happen. But running comes in many forms doesn't it. We can run to, or from. I've never been much of a 'from' runner. I more or less pursue the thing... I'm sick that way.
As much as I want this cancer race to end, it obviously isn't supposed to yet. Let me run. There's somewhere God wants me to be, something he wants me to do, all in the name of Him. Catch me doing it for me and smack me up. This isn't about me. THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. (parts are, I know, like being taken care of, but that's not what I mean here) It's about a race I've been allowed to race. I have listened to God and raced 'out loud' just like He told me to back in 2008. I don't know how much more loudly I am supposed to live it, but I am listening for that answer.
So if you're running with me I just can't thank you enough. The words I have for you are petty in comparison to how my heart feels toward the help, the meals, the going outs, the cards, the hugs. Nothing can replace those. If you've chosen to run with someone else that is awesome too. But run with someone because sooner or later, we are going to have to run with you. It's a promise.