|Hebrews 12: 1-2a: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us…
I’ve been thinking about persevering lately. Life often has bumps and hiccups and unexpected things that could distract us without God’s help. Squirrels can get into the church and eat bell ropes and palm branches for instance. April can be cold, and the gardening gets set back a bit. More profoundly, people we love die and we journey through a season of grief, or someone is battling chronic disease, or the effects of aging. Sometimes we need to persevere when we are tired as well. Not because of any one big thing, but lots of little things that sap our energy and leave us wanting to sit by the side of the race course and not putting one foot in front of the other. Or perhaps, as all our agricultural folks know, they will soon be in the middle of their busy season and there is much work to be done. Sometimes we just have to keep going.
I don’t know, if you are feeling right now as though you are amid a long race, or perhaps you feel rested, we are all in different situations in life even though we are all part of one family in Christ. However, no matter where we are, God is with us. I sometimes can picture God as a cross country coach cheering on runners to keep going through a difficult course. I can picture God as a camp counselor inviting people on a hike or to try something new, so they can experience some new joy. I can even picture God as a parent, or at least care giver, for a young child carrying them in one of those baby/toddler backpacks when their little legs are tired. (I admit I miss doing that for my kids even if they did get heavy.) Wherever we are and whatever role God is taking us in our lives right now, the key thing is God is with us and loves us, and is strengthening us to achieve good things, to bless others, and to feel the joy of life.
So I invite us all to consider, as we enter the month of May, where is God leading us. I find May a sneaky, busy month each year. Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, graduations, end of school year, and other things are coming and all of us will likely have things to do, beyond our work, home, and life obligations. I don’t know exactly what your race will look like this month, but I know God loves you. I know each of us will get love and strength from God. I know God never asks us to go someplace without a blessing for others, us, and the world as the goal. May we all head down the course and remember that God guides us on to new and wonderful things each day. And God will strengthen us so we can persevere as needed.
Thanks be to God known to us though Jesus Christ! Amen.