One of my absolute favorite passages in all of Scripture is Hebrews 12:1-3:
1Therefore, 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. 2Let 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. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
The image is so vivid and clear. We are all running the race and we must do so with our eyes on Jesus or we will lose focus, get discouraged and possibly give up running. But we don’t run alone, and in fact I would say we can’t run alone. We have a “cloud of witnesses” who have run the race already and a guide who knows the way to run, even when we don’t.
This past week, I saw the most heartwarming story. It really touched me, and then it made me think.
The story is about a young girl in California who has joined her school’s track team and is training to run the 800 and 1600 meter races. Which wouldn’t normally make the news, except that this girl is blind. She has been blind since birth, but that hasn’t stopped her from running. The other girls on the team run alongside her, helping her through the race.
Rossi runs a mile, Todd runs with her, gently guiding her with the gray belt that is connected to a thicker black belt around Rossi’s waist.
When Rossi slows, Todd forsakes her own training schedule and slows.
When Rossi speeds up, Todd runs even faster to watch for bumps and curves.
When Rossi grows breathless and has to stop, Todd stops too, even if the sophomore could use more work.
“At first I wondered if this was the best thing for me,” Todd said. “Then I realized, this is not about me.”
She smiled, and you want to wrap the sports world in this smile, one born of the basic instincts of teamwork, one that glitters with the very best of sport.
Go and read the story and more than that, soak in the picture that is with the story. If you are an old softie like me, you might even cry. But there was an something else that caught my eye. It was a quote that the young girl gave in answer to the other girls:
The girls ask if she gets scared running in an eternal dark.
“I’ve never seen anything, so I don’t know what’s there, so it doesn’t matter,” she said.
This made me think of the kind of trust we should have in God. We may not be able to see where the race is taking us, but the One who is guiding us knows and He is trustworthy.