Ironman 70.3, known as Half Ironman, covers a total distance of 113.0 km (70.3 miles), consisting of a 1.9 km swim, a 90 km bike ride, and a 21.1 km run. I know some people who was able to complete the recent Ironman Marathon held in Cebu and I am amazed with the amount of training they have invested to be able to compete in this prestigious event. I can’t even complete a 5km run without taking a breather.
Every Christian is going through a long marathon and that marathon is on-going until your last breath on earth. How to run the race is in the bible. The secret to finishing well can seen in Hebrews 12:1-3. This verse describes such a race in a believer’s life.
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, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 3:1-3, NASB)
It starts with verse 1 talking about a cloud of witnesses and that “witnesses” are the heroes of the past described in Hebrews 11. They are the examples bearing truth that this race can be finished despite all the hardships. But we need to remove all excess baggage that drags us or slows us down. These can be distractions that takes our attention off Jesus or it can be sin as well.
For us to be able to finish our race – we need to focus and fix our eyes on Jesus. His example should inspire us and give us the power to endure such race. Knowing that he himself experience such trials even to the point of shedding blood.
There is really no easy way as we go through our Christian lives. We will experience persecution, financial problems, frictions in relationships and other trials that will really test our faith. But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, He is telling us:
“Move forward. I am here with you helping you through. I have experienced that. Let me help carry you. I love you.”