Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Picture a stadium in which you are running an endurance race. The stands are full of spectators who have previously been participants. They are cheering you on, giving you advice and inspiration. You are weary, not sure whether you can finish the race but you hear them imploring you to focus on the one goal, the finish line. They tell you to drop all the baggage you are trying to carry with you because you will not need it when you arrive. They know because they have already arrived. They tell you not to worry about the person to your left or to your right who seem to be getting ahead of you. The goal is finishing well, not defeating others. You take their advice and you start focusing on Jesus Christ. You realize that your weariness lifts a bit and you become energized with a power you can't explain. You begin to smile with contentment as it seems as if you are being carried along. You still feel the pain but realize it is but for a moment as you can see more clearly the rewards that lie ahead. People in the inner field start laughing at you as you seem to care little for the items you are leaving behind as you shed them. Their voices are dimmed as you concentrate on the One who made you and who gave His all for you.
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