I am training you to set your mind on Me more and more, tuning out distractions through the help of My Spirit. Walk with Me in holy trust, responding to My initiatives rather than trying to make things fit your plans. —Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
A basketball coach once taught me the secret to shooting free throws—fix my eyes on the hook at the front of the rim. He trained me to practice my routine—spin once, dribble twice, bend my knees, and follow through—without taking my eyes off that hook. A fixed focus eliminated distractions.
During one away game, the entire student body from our opponents’ school sat right behind our team’s basket. They were called The Rat Pack, and they insulted your mother while you shot free throws.
I was up—I spun once, dribbled twice, bent my knees, and phoomp!—The Rat Pack unrolled 200 posters of Farrah Fawcett as I took my shot. But I didn’t see them because I’d been trained to focus on the hook. (Okay, I might have glanced at them, but I got my eyes back on the rim ASAP!)
And let us run … fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross … (Hebrews 12:1b-2a)
Why do we fix our eyes on Jesus? Because as the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith, He’s the source of our faith. And if we aren’t focused on Him—we’ll find ourselves distracted. The race will feel impossible.
Most marathon runners and experts say mile 20 is the most difficult. Glycogen, a variety of glucose, is necessary fuel for the body and brain. Unfortunately, our body can store only 2,000 calories of glycogen. So when we’re running, we burn about 100 calories per mile, which means our glycogen is depleted around mile 20. Many runners describe it as an inability to move forward or concentrate—even a feeling of outright despair.
Does that sound like your Christian life? If so, stop running with your own energy. Trust Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith, to run the race through you.
Yes, Jesus! I have felt despair and exhaustion in this life. Run through me. Refuel me. Show me one way I can trust You today. Amen.