Hebrews 12:1-3 (KJV)

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

The runners in a marathon must all follow a clearly marked course.

Suppose one of the athletes decides to pick his own path.

He keeps to the 26.2-mile race standard and sets his finish line in the same spot as the official one, but he runs through neighborhoods with fewer hills and across less crowded parks.

His plan seems excellent to him, but when he crosses the finish line, there will be no medal or ribbon waiting.

That would certainly be a silly thing to do.

Yet believers fall into this very trap when they decide the course for their lives instead of running the race God sets.

By submitting to His will—doing what He says and going where He leads—we remain on the right path. But the moment we revert to our old habits and start making decisions based on our own wisdom, we go far afield.

Whether believers run the race God’s way or their way, the finish line is the same—namely, heaven.

However, the difference is what we have to show for all the energy expended getting there.

No one wants to look back and realize, I didn’t really accomplish anything of value.

Regardless of how grand a legacy someone leaves, the only truly lasting and worthwhile deeds are those done for the Lord in the power of His Spirit.

Thankfully, no matter how far off course we veer, the Holy Spirit is still present. He reminds us of the right path—as well as the power available to get back on it and persevere.

Your route is set; your choice clear. Run  and finish well.

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