Last week I had the opportunity to watch a friend's boys -- Kolya and Austin. Kolya had a cross country meet. Since it was an invitational, everyone had to wait to the end to get awards.
This is a picture of Kolya running. He came in 19th out of 60 runners in his group. I think that is pretty amazing.
While Kolya ran a great race, another runner has gotten me thinking. It seemed that everyone had finished and the crowd was starting to mingle at where the awards were going to be given. I asked someone why they hadn't started. Even though it was a good 15 minutes later, it turned out that there was a boy who was still running. A boy who had run all season nowhere near the pack. A boy for whom only two or three people had stayed at the ending place to cheer on. A boy who ran his heart out.
Hebrews 12:1-3 says the following about the race we are running spiritually.
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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Carolyn Arends is a contemporary Christian singer. She sings about running the race and that great crowd of witnesses: "Sometimes I press on, sometimes I look back, sometimes I just lay in the road on my back. I've got to get up and I don't know how, I hear in the distance the roar of the crowd."
We all feel like giving up sometimes. What is amazing about this youth is that he didn't quit. He didn't quit as the pack pulled farther and farther ahead. He didn't quit when only a handful met him at the finish. He kept going and going --pushing himself. I don't know his faith, but oh, to be able to fix my eyes on Jesus, the end of the race, that I would run on and on and on even when no other runners are in sight.
That boy ran his heart out. May we have hope enough in the cross to run our hearts out until the end of the race.