As we continue to think about this idea of success from a Christian worldview in light of Rio 2016, I am immediately brought to Hebrews 12.
“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, 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” (Hebrews 12:1-2, KJV).
I suggested on Monday that while every competition inevitably involves the desire to win, the true measure of success lies in doing your absolute best with the ability that you have.
We get that feeling from this passage in Hebrews as well.
We run the race that is set before us. It does not say that we run the race that is set before somebody else. We do our best by removing everything that will hold us back, but we focus on our own race.
Jesus ran His own race. He endured the cross because that was part of His mission while He was on earth. He is seated at the right hand of the throne of God because that was where His finish line was.
However, my journey is not going to match that of Jesus Christ. I am not going to be seated at the right hand of the Father; I’m not Jesus Christ and cannot fill that role. If I had to run that race, I would fail. I can run the race that God has given me to run though, and I can do my best at that race.
Therefore, when we think about the idea of success from a Christian worldview, effort is a prerequisite. We need to run the race to the end.
You might wonder however what happens when some people are naturally more talented than other people. For example, Olympians are remarkably strong and fast, and they are going to make it to the finish line a lot faster than your average person off the street. We’re going to look at this diversity of gifts on Friday and the intrinsic value of simply running the race.