Carl’s head was high, ears perked and his gaze straight ahead. He was using all of his senses as we walked down the sidewalk. Rarely, did he turn his gaze except when he saw someone walking towards him. It was only when another dog came into his path that he completely changed his focus. Instead of being intent on walking, Carl concentrated only on the dog and how he would reach him. Thankfully, we had a strong leash to hold him back and keep him on the path towards home.
How often does our focus get diverted? We can be set on the goals that we place on ourselves and something walks in our path that totally puts the goals on the back burner of someone else’s stove. How can we maintain the attention we need in order to reach the finish line?
This can be particularly hard when we are trying to reach our spiritual goals. We make a decision to read our Bible and pray but it just doesn’t happen. We reach for our cell phones or turn on the television and before we know it, the time we had designated for God has vanished.
In Hebrews Chapter 12, the author encourages us to focus on Jesus. He tries to inspire us by having us remember the great cloud of witnesses that are mentioned in Chapter 11. People like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David to name a few. All witnesses to our pursuit towards heaven.
The author compares our journey with God to a marathon. People who run them have to train for months or even years to come close to finishing. The day of the race, they shed as much clothing as possible to lighten their load. And then when they are racing, they focus only on the finish line.
If you think about it, our walk with God is like a marathon. If we want to finish well, we need to focus on our goal of finishing. We need to spiritually train for the race. This means focusing on the finish line that has been set for us by Jesus.
He has already gone before us and the cool thing is that He finished the race and won it! Do you know what He did when He finished his earthly race? It states in Hebrews 12:2 that He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
And now Jesus is sitting beside God in Heaven encouraging us to follow Him to the finish line that has been set out for each and every one of us.
Carl on the other hand, only finishes his walks with the help of a leash assisting him with focusing on the mission. Instead of a leash being considered a hindrance for him, it guides him in the direction he needs to go. Many times it has kept Carl safe from himself and only demonstrates that we love him enough to guide him home.
I have to wonder if we love Carl enough to use a leash to guide him back to the house, what means God will use to make sure we make it to the finish line of life.