Running with Hope

By Ryan Dawson

My emotional response in the moment really caught me off guard.  Vanessa and I had the opportunity last week to spend a few days in the Netherlands to see her Dad and his wife, and then we spent three days in Munich Germany.  While in Munich I had the opportunity to compete in a Spartan Race around the Olympic Park where the 1972 Summer Olympics were held.  A Spartan Race is a type of obstacle course race – think cross country running with American Ninja Warrior elements thrown in.  This particular race was 10km + 25 obstacles and the course snaked through the picturesque park and included running into the Olympic stadium.  

It was at the 9km mark that I approached the Olympic stadium.  The stadium was virtually empty when I ran into it, but my mind immediately went to the thousands of athletes and supporters who had gone before.  In some way I could feel the history and the significance of this place, and it moved me deeply and I started to cry.  I don’t normally cry in the middle of a Spartan race (LOL) so this really took me by surprise, but it was a special moment I will always remember.  After a few moments I was able to regain my composure, complete the final few obstacles and jump the fire pit at the finish line with a smile.  

As I reflect on that incredible moment of entering the Olympic stadium, I think I was so moved because this experience is a signpost to a current and future reality we have in Christ.  The book of Hebrews reminds us that we are running the race of faith, and we are following in the footsteps of those who have gone before us, including our Saviour – Jesus Christ.  

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NLT)  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”

It is encouraging to know that so many others have gone before us, and this inspires us to run with a similar faith and perseverance.  Look around, there are others with you on your journey.  We are also challenged to rid ourselves of things that will hinder or slow us down in our pursuit of the prize God has for us, because it is hard to run well burdened by dead weight.  What do you need to “strip off” today that is holding you back from running your race of faith?  But most importantly we need to keep our eyes locked on Jesus, our champion, who has led the way through His life, death, and resurrection.  This will ensure we finish well by persevering to the end.  

There is a day coming when we will enter the stadium of Heaven and we will meet Jesus at our finish line – He will be waiting there with a smile!  So run well fueled by that great hope.  

Running with you, Ryan

Posted in
Posted in ,