A few years ago, I did a race called “Tough Mudder.” The 12-mile mud run full of crazy obstacles gives itself the reputation of being “probably the toughest event on the face of the planet.” It was the race of my dreams. As a kid who grew up in a wooded rural area, it was the real experience of all the imaginary races I had as I ran through the trees, jumping over logs, climbing up rocks, and getting completely dirty. It's a grown-up’s obstacle course dream.
The neat thing was we each had varying levels of ability. Some were better runners, some a bit stronger, some better at keeping a great attitude, yet we all encouraged each other, kept each other accountable, and battled together.
Each week when the workout came, I would think, Do I REALLY want to go train tonight…? And then I’d remember the other guys that would be showing up and I’d get up and head out for the training. As the race approached, I found myself in pretty decent shape. I also found that our team had created a pretty strong bond. All those days of sweat, blood, throw up, and, on occasion, tears made us stronger. When the race finally arrived, we were like kids in a candy store radiating with anticipation and excitement. We didn’t know if we had the right training to be ready, but we sure knew we had each other to go into the race.
It turns out we were ready. And it was a blast!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
I like to imagine the church as a group of training partners for the Tough Mudder. It’s a “huge crowd of witnesses” that helps strip off what’s going to hold us back from running the race. We each bring our own strengths, and together we are stronger. Life will be hard and grueling a times, but I’ll have a people who will encourage me along the way. When we are done with the race, we’ll be able to say it was all worth it.
Written by Mark
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.