“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 ….” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
1) Whenever we see a “therefore” in Scripture, we always want to ask what it is there for. In this passage, “therefore” refers back to the prior chapter’s description of the great faith displayed by so many of the saints who have gone before. And more pointedly, it refers to the prior two verses in 11:39-40: “All of the people we have mentioned received God’s approval because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.” (NLT) In other words, our race is somehow inextricably linked to the glory or prize of all the saints.
2) We are encouraged to throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us. It will help our race, and it will somehow contribute to our “prize” … but it will also somehow contribute to the prize of all the saints. Wow.
What does this have to do with fitness?
1) It is another reminder that all of us is important. Every aspect of us — our body, mind & spirit — and each and every part of our bodies is important, just like every Christ follower is important to the body of Christ. (Reminds me of Romans 12:3-5 & 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.)
2) For me, it not only provides Biblical motivation to run my Christian race well, it also provides great fodder for my mind and my heart when I physically run … for I believe that God moves in my spirit while I move in my body (or should I say His body?), especially as I meditate upon Him & His truths.