My crazy kids (son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons) entered the Spartan Race at Fort Knox last weekend. This kind of race, held in several locations across the country and in other countries, is more than a running race; it involves a number of obstacles.
True enough, the one who gets to the best time is the winner, but it is more a test of endurance and strength. Just to make it to the end is a massive achievement. Thus, those who manage to cross the fire at the end receive a heavy medal piece to hang around their necks.
Historically speaking, the Spartans were an elite group of Greek fighting soldiers from Sparta who were renown for their prowess and ability to fight off large numbers of enemies – the real “he-men” of old.
The obstacles along the way in this race might include climbing a wire-type wall, scooting up a heavy rope and back down, swinging on movable monkey bars of sorts, carrying a heavy ball a distance (30 pounds for women, 50 pounds for men), or crawling under a barbed-wire fence. Well, you get the idea. I’m already worn out just thinking about it!
Combine this with the fact that the temperature last Friday was nearing 97 degrees with a heat index well over 100. Can you say perseverance? It reminds me of the words of the writer of Hebrews;
… let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
Of course you are beginning to see the comparisons to our own lives. Sometimes we feel like we’re in a race of endurance.
A young mother feels overloaded keeping her household duties going with her children, meals, school preparations, while working at a demanding job. A husband has a demeaning boss who expects the impossible and then he goes home to rebellious teenagers. A wife spends hours taking her husband back and forth for medical treatments, wondering all the while how much longer he will have to live. A daughter deals with the endless tasks of dealing with an aging parent. Parents are at their wits end with what to do about their drug-addicted son.
If you can’t complete an obstacle in the Spartan Race, you have to do 30 “Burpees” (a series of arms up, squat, push feet back, do a push-up, squat, stand.)
Periods of our lives may feel like this at times. Obstacles beyond what we can bear followed by something equally challenging.
Once again the Hebrew writer gives us advice;
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross. Hebrews 12:2
When we are overwhelmed with the troubles of life, may we hear Jesus words;
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Did my kids make it over the finish line? Stay tuned next week!
~ Joyce ~