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The Race Before Us

By R. A. Douthitt

Theme:  Endurance

  “…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  Hebrews 12:1

As a writer and a Christian, I know that endurance and patience is required for this writing journey. I also know that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint. As a runner of many marathons, I also understand what the author of Hebrews speaks of in chapter 12.

Life requires endurance more than speed. It requires perseverance and determination to conquer obstacles. As you read this post, I will be in the middle of my 4th ultramarathon race in an attempt to run 52 miles in one day. That’s two marathons in one day.

Why willingly sign up for such a race? The challenge, of course. But, after participating in this race previously, I can see why Paul and the author of Hebrews relates the Christian life to running. I can relate running to the writer’s journey as well.

The ultramarathon race isn’t difficult during the day when other runners are out there, supporting one another. But once the sun goes down and other runners have headed to bed (they continue the race the next day…), suddenly, the desire to quit hits me hard. The air turns colder, it’s dark, and quiet. The legs are weak and it’s lonely on the course without companionship. The “demons” come out and begin to persuade me to quit.

Sound familiar?

It’s easy to serve with other Christians. The support helps you endure the difficult times. Each member of the Body of Christ comes alongside you to make the ministry or project work. But when you are alone, the demons come out and begin to persuade you to quit.

But that’s where God’s word comes in. The author of Hebrews reminds us of the others who came before us.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us…”

There are the witnesses that line “the race” course, cheering us on toward that prize at the end. I run this week for the prize of a trophy. But this trophy is perishable. God tells us in His word that our prize is Christ! Imagine the race course lined with the prophets, the martyrs, the Apostles, who have run the race before us, cheering us on toward the finish.

“You can do it!” they shout. “Keep going! Keep your eyes on the prize!”

There is nothing better for a runner than to see that finish line. The people cheer you on as you sprint toward the finish. Your heart beats faster and a burst of energy propels you forward. And when you cross it, they place a medal around your neck as your reward.

God’s word reminds us that our crown awaits us. I imagine removing that crown from my head, and placing it at the feet of Jesus, because He earned it. He endured to the end.

Friends, our writing journey is an ultramarathon. It requires patience and endurance. It requires training and strategy. This journey also requires perseverance and determination when you go it alone, in the cold and darkness, looking toward the prize at the end. Not the 7-book contract with a well-known publisher, but the prize of Jesus that awaits us!

If we see our journey this way, only then can we have peace during the race. Only then will we finish strong.

Your turn: What challenges have you faced on your writing journey? How have you over come them?

Ruth Douthitt is an award-winning author of middle grade books. Her Christmas novella, “First Christmas in Paris,” is based on a true story and was released this month. Ruth illustrates her children’s books and also teaches women’s Bible studies. She lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband of 29 years. Visit Ruth on her Facebook page or website.

 

 

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