Running the Race

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…                                                                                                                                                                           Hebrews 12:1

I was talking recently with a client who is an elementary school teacher. For those of you who may not know an elementary school teacher, you may not realize the dedication and care that they pour into their students. This client has her own issues of anxiety, family problems, etc., and those issues certainly burden her. However, she said that recently the chronic effects of COVID and the extra drain that this causes in her and her students, has been especially draining.

We began to talk about her job as a teacher which is really not so much a job as a “calling”.  She has been gifted and called to pour herself into the lives of her students, making her “job” not a mere job but a calling, a mission. She feels overwhelmed by the needs of her students, and her own sense of being unable to meet all the needs of those students. Just not enough time in the day…

I reminded her of the author of the Bible book Hebrews, and his analogy of running the race set before him. We all have a race to run, and a lane to stay in. We cannot be distracted by those runners in the lanes to our right and left. We cannot take on the responsibility of solving all the problems that we see. We need to stay in our lane, run our race to the best of our ability, and try not to be distracted by the lanes on our sides which contain problems we cannot solve. I suggested to her that she is changing the world for her students, and in that way, she is changing the world for the better, even in a small way.

There are so many problems around us that we can become distracted and discouraged. The challenge is to run the race set before us- to change the part of the world that we can change, and let God select the others who can run in the lanes beside us, accomplishing his means in their own lane.

Keep your eye on the prize.

Prayer: Lord, you have given us callings to change the world for those in our path. Help us to keep focus and trust in our race, and to keep our eye on that prize, Amen

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