I loved this post about running the race of life by my college friend and fellow English major, QuaWanna, and was glad she gave me the opportunity to share this with you.
There are people that read the end of a book before they decide to commit to the rest of the chapters. I don’t understand it, although I’ve read about several reasons why people choose to do so. “How does skipping to the end tell the reader anything about what happens throughout the book?”
Good question. Hold that thought…..
Surely, some of you have been where I am. You face a challenge and grow weary in navigating the course. Challenges are difficult and demanding. In your frustration, you keep mumbling and murmuring that you would be so happy to see the end of the challenge. The irony about those sentiments is that the challenge is meant to test your ability and endurance. So in knowing that, it is a wonder so many knowledgeable believers constantly beg the question, “Lord when will this end?” I was crying this pitiful sentiment recently when I distinctly heard the response “I’M NOT CONCERNED ABOUT THE END, I WIN. VICTORY IS OF NO REAL CONCERN FOR ME BUT YOUR ABILITY TO ENDURE IS IMPORTANT TO ME”.
How does a daughter respond when Daddy tells her, “You need to be more concerned about what happens throughout?” I just stood there and let the tears fall. I realized that while I don’t understand end readers, my constant begging for the end of the test is behaving like an end reader. How does skipping to the end of the test, the struggle, the fight, the process, the cultivation period, the growth period; all otherwise known as THE PAIN; tell you anything about what happens throughout? It does not. It is uninformative.
Victors and Olympians will tell you that they don’t get to the finish without THE PAIN. The finish line, albeit the much anticipated moment of glory, is nothing without the journey to the line. While we tire of the process, we have to understand that God is the Finisher, meaning He’s already written the end of the story. Hebrews 12:2 reads “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” He is the victory giver. He knows how it ends. He can not allow His children to skip to the end of the journey because in doing so, we lessen the development and learning process. We lessen the strengthening and the muscle building process. Just like some end readers don’t commit to the rest of the story after reading the end of the book, you may not commit to the race He has to given to you if He allows you to skip to the end that you want to come so quickly. Essentially, our Father knows that He has invested too much to have you skip out of the endurance phase.
If you know anything about long term investments, you know that the endurance period from the investment beginning to the maturity date can be a scattered picture of volatility and vulnerability. The committed investor, some call the high risk taker, does not scare easily when he sees these pictures. He knows that He has made a good investment. God loves us so much that He has placed great value on the investment that He made in all of us. He is so sure of His GOOD investment that he gave His son in order to give us an opportunity for eternal life and to be reconciled back to Him.
Hebrews 12:1-2 gives great advice for the believer to take our eyes off of the end of the race and actually run with patience with our eyes fixed on the author and the Finisher, Jesus. My favorite scripture, Jeremiah 29:11, now has new meaning for me. “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord. Plans of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end” (KJV and NIV merged). Because God knows the end, He wants me to be at peace during the journey. The Finisher is not finished with me yet and I intend to see Him at the finish line. It is up to me to hang in there. When I keep my eyes on the Finisher, I am assured of the victory. My responsibility is to run, complete the challenge which was given to test my endurance and trust that HE KNOWS THE PLANS.
© QuaWanna Ne’Cole Bannarbie, a runner
Does it give you confidence knowing that God is indeed the finisher of all things? How does this truth motivate you to keep going when faced with life hurdles?