Friday, November 2, 2012

Running the Faith Race

Next week is Election Day in the U.S. (I voted Tuesday, have you?) Nov. 6 is the finish line for what we often call the "presidential race." It must be an exhilarating experience to manage these multi-billion dollar campaigns as they rush to the end of the race. Yes, that's BILLION - the presidential campaigns have spent $2 billion so far.

(Just for fun: a $2 billion endowment would generate enough annual earnings to allow every student at LETU to attend for free!)

We should care about this election and our responsibilities in a democracy. Yet, as followers of Christ we are in another race that is far more important: the race of faith.

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 author and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2a)

Running the race of faith begins by considering the saints who have gone before us. From Abel through the prophets "who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised," we have evidence of God's desire to work through men and women like us. In the lives of others, we see evidence of the world-changing power of our faith.

Effectively running our faith race requires considering ourselves as well as those who have gone before us. We can be our own worst enemy in this race: underestimating our abilities and availabilities, carrying burdens of guilt, limiting our vision of what God can do. Our faith race requires us to navigate a maze of sinful distractions that will only slow us or stop us.

Most importantly, we can run our faith race only when we keep our eyes on the goal. The object of our faith is Jesus Christ. Candidates in the presidential race will be busy counting 125 million votes on Election Day. But in the faith race, only one vote is important. Jesus has voted and he voted to claim you for all of eternity. That's the object of our faith.

Last weekend, senior Nicole Leman became the first LeTourneau student athlete to win the American Southwest Conference championship in cross country running. She will compete at the NCAA regional championships in Atlanta later this month. As Nicole is a champion in her race, I pray I can champion the faith race marked out for me. I pray LeTourneau University can finish the race marked out for us.