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Sprinting Through a Marathon

November 19, 2017

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he 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 sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

— Hebrews 12:1-3

“When living seems too much to manage, circumstances too difficult to cope with , the future too gloomy to consider — call time out. Stop and discover the nurturing, renewing gift of the Holy One: rest.” Disciplines 2017, page 347.

A handful of years ago, working with my District Superintendent and with the gracious permission of the Effingham (IL) United Methodist Church, I was granted a brief study sabbatical.

During that month I looked at why some people are able to go the distance in life and finish their race strong, while others don’t.

“The Disciples of Grace” was a class that enriched my understanding in that time and since. One simply profound take away: while it’s God’s gift of grace through Christ that saves us, living into our salvation requires something on our part.

Some of that is the stewardship of our physical and emotional resources.

We talk about pacing ourselves. But that pace can increase until we’re furiously, and foolishly, trying sprint our way through a marathon.

Some of us need to reach back into our heritage —

“I will give you rest,”

God promises us in Exodus 33:14,

and

“Come to me, all you that are weary

and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,”

Jesus beckons to us in Matthew 11:28.

Maybe you’re like others of us.

Maybe your own exhausted panting is drowning out what those Scriptures offer us.

Then today, let’s make one small change and actually “call time out. Stop and discover the nurturing, renewing gift of the Holy One: rest.”

How will you do that today?

And when?

 

 

 

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