4/16/2014 Brooke Irvine (C’16)
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, 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
While reading the passage from Hebrews, I felt both encouraged and convicted. To understand why, it is important to know a few things about me. First, like many of us, I am someone who constantly gives in to distractions. Often, I do it willingly, in an attempt to avoid the things that make me uncomfortable or upset. Second, I can be independent to a fault, insisting on doing things myself, my way. To me, Lent is an exercise in living intentionally. It is in this period that we give special attention to the things which we put in our lives, and those which we do not. The kind of living that this encourages is exactly what this passage is telling us to do; run with perseverance. It is an admonition not to give into the things that distract us from Christ, but to fight to live intentionally. We are to point in one direction and with all our strength pursue Christ, as the “author and finisher of our faith”. The really exciting part is, that we don’t have to do it alone. Not only do we have Christ’s incredible example before us, leading us, but we have the cloud of witnesses which surrounds us. We are running together, in the same direction. Without one another to be there when we stumble, this race would be much harder. This Lenten season, I have been blessed to be surrounded by a cloud of witnesses that has supported and strengthened me. I pray that our community will daily strive to come together, knowing that this race we run is a race run better with other likeminded believers than by ourselves.