Sunday, May 6, 2007

How great a cloud of witnesses

"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." Hebrews 12:1

So running with 35,000 other people, you're definitely in a crowd. At the beginning of the race, it was wall to wall people--we walked a good four blocks to get to the starting line--I crossed the start 16 minutes, 30 seconds after the front of the pack. Luckily there is a chip attached to your shoe that registers when you cross the special pads ther were at the start line, 5 km, 5 mile and 10 mile marks, as well as the finish line. And other than the chip on your shoe (not on your shoulder :)), most people didn't catry anything--there were Fedex trucks where you could check your stuff until the end of the race. This verse from Hebrews encourages us to do the same thing in our Christian race--you can check your baggage with Jesus, he'll take care of it.

Running with that many other people is motivating--I ran at a faster pace than I did while I was training. The thing that always strikes me about large groups like this, though, is how lonely it is. Although you're surrounded by 34,999 other people, if you don't know someone nearby you, there is no one to talk to. And even though I did know about five other people running the race, they were slotted in D, not T, and they were running much faster than I was. Consequently, I said good bye to them at the starting line, and didn't see them at all, even after the race. So if I have a fear about heaven, it's exactly that--while I'll know many people there, will it be the same lonely experience I've had at meetings and this race?

Thanks, Jesus, that I'm not just a number in your race.

1 comment:

Jen Henze said...

I'm imagining that since the Word promises no more tears or sorrow in eternity that there will also be an absence of loneliness. I'm thinking we will all be so fixated on our Saviour and enamored with His glory that we won't really be paying attention to who is around us. I'm placing my trust in that "new body" God promised. I'm hoping it also comes witha new perspective and new set of God-like emotions. Having said that, I also hope I have the privilege of recognizing some of the people I love the most in this world, too. After all, how glorious would heaven be if we all felt isolated from each other? I'm hoping we all have a deep bond of fellowship as Christ's body and bride!