The Noise in the Silence
I ran cross country in school.
My parents would try and make every cross country meet. They would give me last minute tips as I walked to the starting line. All of the racers would line up…. And wait for the starter gun to signal us. Everyone would quiet as we waited.
Boom! The gun would go off.
Shouts and yelling erupted from the coaches, teammates and parents as the herd of us took off. As soon as we were down the course, silence would settle again. The majority of a cross country meet is run in silence other than the breathing and padding of feet of the racers.
I would focus on my training, breathing, and the course, and tuning out anything that could distract me… like side cramps, my position in the herd of runners, or anything that happened before or will happen after the race.
Halfway through the race, I could hear yelling and shouting of encouragement again as I approached the crowd of coaches and parents. I would squirt water into my mouth, while still running, and toss the water bottle to the ground. Run back into the silence.
This is where runners start listening to the noise in the silence…
To Run 23.6 Miles Is The Same As Living Daily for Christ?
Before I tell you what the noise is… let me share with you from the Bible.
Hebrews 12:1-3 “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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
The runners in the second half of the cross country meet would lose focus. They would allow themselves to get distracted by other runners. Lose focus on their breathing. They would allow themselves to be discouraged by others passing them- which would cause them to slow even more.
The Christian life is spoken as a marathon. The author of the Book of Hebrews talks about the perseverance required and to stay focused on the finish line.
In long-distance running, if you don’t keep that vision of the finish line in your mind you struggle to find purpose in pushing through the tired muscles. You would struggle to commit yourself to train daily.
The same can be said in your spiritual life. If you don’t have a clear vision of the finish line of standing before God in Heaven and Him saying
“Well done. You finished well… My good and faithful servant.”
Have you ever noticed who is at the finish line of marathon races?
The OTHER RACERS! They are cheering the ones behind them to cross the finish line. They know the struggle the runners are going through. They know that it is worth it to finish well. They celebrate with them when they do!
Don’t you think Heaven is the same way?
You see everyone that has gone to Heaven before you and you get to celebrate. They are cheering you on. “Don’t lose faith! I know your struggle. It is worth it to finish living for Jesus Christ well.”
To Finish Well…
As I would get close to the finish line… I could hear my parents and coach shouting to me to finish strong… or finish well.
After putting out consistent effort the whole race, they were telling me to not give up or slow down just because I can see the end of the race. Don’t get distracted.
I didn’t run 2.9 miles giving my 100%, then the last 1/10th of a mile give only 30%. That last 0.1 mile is about digging deep and catching the person in front of you.
To finish in a better position than you are currently.
That is what God wants from us. Our training isn’t focusing on breathing, rhythm, water, and stretching to prevent cramping and injury.
Our training in our spiritual life is:
Reading our Bible
Talking & praying to God
Developing a deeper relationship with Him
Going to church
This allows us to be ready to run our race towards Heaven. Sharing our faith openly along the way, and wanting others to get to know Jesus too. Showing others that His love, mercy, and forgiveness is for them.
To finish well… in a better position than when we started the race.