After running 32 kilometers (20 miles) of the Salomon Kielder Marathon in Great Britain, a runner dropped out and rode a bus to a wooded area near the finish line. Then, he re-entered the race and claimed third prize. When officials questioned him, he stated that he stopped running because he was tired.
Many of us can relate to the exhaustion of a worn-out athlete as we run the race of the Christian faith. The book of Hebrews encourages us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (12:1). Running with endurance requires that we lay aside the sin that stands in our way and shed the weights that hold us back. We may even have to press on through persecution (2 Tim. 3:12).
To prevent weariness and discouragement in our souls (Heb. 12:3), the Bible urges us to focus on Christ. When we pay more attention to Him than to our struggles, we will notice Him running alongside us—supporting us when we stumble (2 Cor. 12:9) and encouraging us with His example (1 Peter 2:21-24). Keeping our eyes on “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2) will help us stay close to the source of our strength and remain faithful to the finish.