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The Amazing Race

January 07, 2019
Dr. J.B. Hixson
Amazing Race blog

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2)

It was a bitterly cold, snowy Saturday morning in a little town in New Hampshire.  The whole town was gathered, as they did every January at this time, to watch the annual Boys Dog Sled Race.  Youngsters from all over the region gathered to participate in the one-mile race.  The race was open to any boy who desired to enter and thus the participants included everyone from teenagers with fancy sleds and teams of dogs, to young boys with simple two-railed sleds pulled by the family pet.

At the sound of the gun, the participants took off and in no time at all one particular 8-year-old boy, Davy, was left in the dust by the older and stronger contestants.  Nevertheless, Davy shouted words of encouragement to Buster, his golden retriever, and the sleigh plodded on.  About midway through the race, a mishap occurred in which two of the lead packs came too close to one another and a dog fight ensued.  As each dog team came upon the fight, the teenagers struggled to no avail to keep their dogs from joining the fray.  Before long all that was visible from a distance was one massive pile of dogs, sleds and angry young men.

No one seemed able to navigate around it—except, that is, for Davy and Buster.  Remaining focused on the finish line, Buster and his young master steered clear of the mess and became the only ones to finish the race!  There is a great lesson here:  When trouble arises, stay focused on the goal and keep on going.

There is another race that happens not just once a year, but every day.  It is not confined to New Hampshire; it is global.  This race is much larger and much more significant.  It is an amazing race called the race of life.  Participants in this grand race face many obstacles and challenges along the way.  The question is how can we navigate the race of life successfully to the finish line? The same way Davy and Buster won their dog sled race: By keeping our eyes on the goal and staying the course.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”  He was writing to a group of Christians in the late 60's AD who were facing unspeakable persecution under the evil regime of the Roman Emporero Nero.  If they were to handle the tragedies and trials of life, the author reminded them, they must keep their eyes on Christ.

In this amazing race of life, we must follow Christ’s example. He is the One who provides the grace and strength we need to keep going.  And He modeled it in His own earthly life.  Jesus kept His eye on the goal which was to glorify His Father.  His race took Him through betrayal, scourging and crucifixion, yet He never wavered.  He finished the race.

Like Davy and his dog Buster, we too must keep our eyes fixed on the goal and avoid the distractions of life.  This requires endurance….steadfast, consistent, daily endurance.  When trouble arises, stay focused on the goal and just keep on going!  It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.



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jb@notbyworks.org

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