LIFE IS A RACE. For some, this means a long-distance marathon (maybe a decathlon?); for others, 400-meter hurdles. Too many live only long enough to run a 100-meter dash. The successful launch into orbit of the Hubble Satellite in 1990 is an example of a “long-distance” marathon by chief engineers.  

A great Biblical thinker challenged us to “RUN THE RACE TO WIN.”  In order to do this, it is necessary to throw off everything that hinders or entangles. Like a runner, stripping off burdensome clothing, or losing excess body fat, is needed because they impede movement. For me, I liken this to holding all of life loosely, yet hanging on tenaciously to HOPE. 

How do we then travel lightly? It seems to me it depends on clearly answering the who, what, where, and why:

  1. WHO is in my travel plans?
  2. WHAT is my travel purpose?
  3. WHERE will my travel take me?
  4. WHY do I want to travel?

Many years ago, in my late teens, I could clearly answer these relating to basketball, my king. It enabled me to travel lightly.

  1. WHO was basketball to advance my life.
  2. WHAT was a future college basketball scholarship.
  3. WHERE was the best college for my best basketball scholarship.
  4. WHY was the serious answer for my “meal ticket” out of poverty.

Now, many years later, I clearly answer differently.

  1. WHO is the Spirit of God living moment by moment in me, laying aside all negativity.
  2. WHAT is to live or die well with those close to me knowing heaven is real.
  3. WHERE is living on this earth with a right-here, right-now impact.
  4. WHY is because there is no greater joy in life to complete the marked-out course God has given me with determination.

Hebrews 12:1-2 are the words that inspire me to go the distance with endurance. This makes it a marathon rather than a sprint. It is a sustained effort. 

Jesus is the one who has run the path before us, showing us how to run. He is the champion, leader, forerunner, and initiator. Fitting in with the race imagery, He has cleared the path of faith so that we may run it. The way is open; even though there are hurdles, the roadblocks are removed. Jesus had painful circumstances to look beyond to the reward ahead. He was able to see these painful circumstances as insignificant, especially compared to the joy set before Him. 

Therefore, we are encouraged also to look beyond our present difficulties to God’s promised rewards. Looking at my present difficulties there are definitely somethings I can remove from my life backpack so I can run my God-given race today. What have you discovered as an item to be removed from your life’s pack? TRAVELING LIGHTLY IS SO MUCH BETTER!