"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." Hebrews 12:1-2
It's that time of year again - New Year's Resolutions: time to plan and strive to improve, live better and give up bad habits.
Have you ever competed in a race before? I used to run the 100 meter dash in school and there are so many similarities to the verses above. The audience always felt like a vast "cloud of witnesses" (even though in actuality I think there were about 34 people). There were so many mental hurdles that had to be dealt with before starting the race - just like "sin that so easily entangles". When your legs start to feel rubbery and weak - you must persevere and finish the race. And then the goal - always "fix your eyes" on that finish line.
I think of every year as a race. For me the race of 2012 had many obstacles and hardships but I have persevered and learned from those difficulties therefore making me more capable of running this new race of 2013.
To me, this "cloud of witnesses" as mentioned above is everyone around us: our friends, our family, our co-workers, our neighbors and even strangers - anyone who witnesses how we live our life - how we run this race. In order to compete to the best of our abilities we must focus on Jesus! - He is the "author and perfecter of our faith". Jesus died on the cross so that we all would be saved from our sins. That is why we must always "fix our eyes" on Jesus so that we will be able to endure all of the hurdles and hardships that come our way in this life race. The most difficult part is throwing off all of our earthly sinful ways that causes us to stumble, but when that happens just pick yourself up and persevere to the finish line.
As you begin this New Year of 2013 - decide what you want your goals to be and what (or who) you will focus on. And remember - everyone is watching!!!