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. Let 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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. –Hebrews 12:1-3
Once while I was visiting in South Africa, a youth minister told me about a key lesson his father learned about people when he was a guide for groups climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a lot like life. The road is long and sometimes very difficult. There are tough spots along the way with moments of exhilaration and moments of intense complexity with trouble. That’s our lives, our families, our relationships.
The guide told his son that when climbers can’t see the peak because it is cloudy, they don’t make it to the top very often. The climbers become discouraged, irritable, negative and fight among themselves. But when the peak is clear and they can fix their eyes on the peak, the climbers are focused and work together. They almost always make it to the top. The difference, of course, is that they keep their eyes on the goal, the peak of the mountain.
Our lives are just like that. When we fix our eyes on Jesus and persevere, we can accomplish our goals; when we take our eyes off our Savior and follow another road, we forfeit our spiritual direction in life. Stay on the road. Read His Map (Bible) often. He knows the way. He will show you the path.
Oswald Chambers said it this way: “Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ.” Is there anything today that is holding you back? What is God asking you to do about it? You know the answer, now make a decision to do what He tells you to do.
Think of a time when you struggled to follow Christ as you know you should have done. How might focusing more on Christ during that time have made a difference in how things turned out?
Psalm 25:15; Philippians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 9:24