"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
When readying yourself at the start of a marathon, you see so many different runners; slender youth, determined professionals, wrinkled and experienced runners, and a thousand others so different, yet alike in their readiness to take off on their race of a lifetime. Each press on toward that finish line in their own style and with their own training, yet all seeking that coveted finish line. Those runners have a commonality in that they have learned from or been trained, by those who already ran the 26.2 grueling miles.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I have three friends who finished the race in the last few years. One was 86, one 70, and one 73 and each very different in their life experience.
Yet, they all crossed over into eternal life with Jesus Christ.
S had an humble servant's heart. She sang and played the bells and cared for the least of God's children, the little ones. She was ever faithful to serve God. J had a smile that made you want to smile too. He was a deacon and sang his heart out in choir. Mostly he was a loving, godly husband and a decent, honorable, and godly father to his children. He let his light shine brightly. Lastly, P was so very wise as she taught others to serve in God's Kingdom, and cared so well for all from pastors to members in her church. She was dignified and beautiful and strong and faithful to her Lord, but mostly wise! I am blessed because each crossed my life and I saw Christ in each of them
My journey with Christ began with my mother and my grandmother. They taught me through words as well as deeds. My Grannie read her old Bible, kept by her bed, when I stayed with her. She would read whole chapters to me until I fell asleep. My precious mom, showed me through her deeds of kindness, always caring for those in need or those who needed kindness in their lives. She was a brilliant Bible teacher, and gave me my first glimpse into the deep meaning of Revelation.
All of these soldiers for Christ, so different, yet each reached the finish line and are with God. They are the saints we all know who went before us and impacted our lives. Like the runner or the soldier carrying their heavy packs, they endured and finished the race. They taught us. We too must be the soldiers who mentor future soldiers.