Final preparations done.
All that’s left to do is that first step across the start line.
Follow the course mapped out for you.
For all of you.
Runners lined up.
All set out on the same path.
So much to share, with so much to separate.
One course unfolding for each runner a different race.
Distinct, powerful motivations of every heart leading them to this race, each so personal.
Every step a gain, full of purpose, intent, focus.
Every misstep and stumble a temptation to stop, a threat to your place.
It’s the grit and gruel of the race.
But there is a race marked out for us.
The outcome, and goal the same to which we are all pursuing, sometimes striving with all our effort, aware of the muscle fatigue but pressing on.
Other days, stumbling, falling, the surrounding cheers of others feeling like faint echoes rather than the encouragement fellow weary runners.
Yet always, the grace of the goal, wonderfully the same.
The same gracious author and perfector of our faith.
The Same Saviour who called us to this race, who called us to this life of perseverance and faith, who brought us to this time and place.
The Same Redeemer who specifically planned for each one of us our own particular course.
The Same Lord Jesus who sovereignly ordains the moments our course inter-weaves and crosses paths with others.
The Same Lord who gifts us with cheering and championing fellow runners, without the competition, the threat, or fear of being surpasses, overtaken, outshone.
The Same Saviour who directs our steps lovingly, knowingly up the steep terrains or over the threatening tree roots, requiring us to watch closely, take care, watch and pray in case we stumble.
The Same Advocate who in the moments we’re running with no one around, never for once leaves us without a championing voice to cheer us on.
The Same gracious, generous Saviour who has not only called us to this race, who will not only welcome us home, but who never, for one single step of the way, will leave us.
Who never, for one moment is not sustaining and upholding us by his grace.
Every breathe a gracious gift.
Every step a giving of his goodness.
Oh the grace of God revealed most beautifully in the gift of Jesus.
Oh the grace of his race for us.
The grace of our race for Him.