Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Running the Race

Welcome to those of you joining from the Encouragement Cafe today! I'm grateful you stopped by! And friend, if you haven't visited the Cafe, I encourage you to stop by for some food for your soul. It's a pleasure to be sharing there today. If you want to read my devotional, "Forget The Things That Don't Matter", click HERE.

In my devotional, I shared there are some things we don't need to remember. Years ago, during a game of Memory my oldest said to me, "Mom, you have a good remembory." It was a cute, little word made up by a young child, but it described me quite well. Like I said remembering is good in most situations, but there are times it's helpful to forget.

I was reminded of this truth last week when I was beating myself up over something that had happened. My husband listened to me, but then responded, "Forget that. It was yesterday." The thing is the mess I made impacted him more than it did me, but he was able to let it go. Me on the other hand, well, I was dwelling on it.

This conversation brought to mind Philippians 3:13-14 - "forgetting what lies behind reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Along with Hebrews 12:1 - "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."

It's been awhile since I ran a real race, but one thing I remember from my days on the track is our coach's advice: "Don't look behind you." When you are running you want to focus on the finish, looking back will slow you down and can interrupt your focus. I no longer run laps around the football field, but I am running the race called life. And friend, so are you.

I believe my coach's advice for a sport applies for us in life. Our races don't look the same and we no longer know the distance we are running, but we are advised to press on, forget what lies behind and throw off everything that hinders us. Much can fit into this category, but today will join me in looking at the things we remember?

The other day I was focusing on something I had done...it wasn't even my fault, but I played a part and Satan was eager to use that against me. For awhile I let him mess with my mind and feed me lies, but thankfully my husband shared wisdom and gave me permission to forget. There are other times the problems I ponder are my responsibility, but rather than dwelling on them I need to learn from them and confess them. God who is faithful, will forgive me. Friend, He'll forgive you too. Still there are troubles that life creates and others cause, how can we forget them? That's a good question. As humans I'm not sure we'll ever really forget, but we can focus on them rightly and remember God is still good.

As I reflect on my days as a runner much comes to mind...it wasn't easy, it was hard; it wasn't always fun, sometimes it was lonely and there were moments I wanted to quit. Honestly, sometimes life feels the same. Would you agree? Sometimes it seems like an uphill race. A challenge that will never end. A course with endless obstacles.

In moments like that, we must focus on the finish or as Paul says, the prize! When we remember what lies ahead, we're more likely to press through the pain and realize the work is worth it. Friend, today as we run the race of life let's remember Paul's words, "Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly..." (1 Corinthians 9:26b) and "Run in such a way as to get the prize." (1 Corinthians 9:24b)

Praying we can all forget what weighs us down and remember the One who lifts us up!!

3 comments:

  1. Jill this post and your devotional at Encouragement Cafe pack powerful truths! I love what you said here... "As humans, I'm sure we'll never really forget, but we can focus on them rightly and remember God is still good." Amen. Thank you for sharing deep, life-giving wisdom! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and always being a voice of encouragement!! God's giving me an opportunity to practice what I preach today!! Blessings to you!

      Delete
  2. Hi Jill! I just commented on your Encouragement Cafe post. I love everything that you've shared there and here. It's definitely given me some really good food for thought. There are some things that have become such a part of me, that I don't even realize how damaging it has been to hold on to them.

    I also love your analogies to running races. As a former track runner too, they resonate very deeply with me. I was reminded of how difficult it is to run in the rain, how heavy my clothes would feel when soaked with water. Well, I've definitely been running this race with some entangling, heavy clothing - hindering things that need to be thrown off. Thank you so much for this awesome teaching. Praising Jesus together. Much love xo

    ReplyDelete