Juli Kosolapova

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” Hebrews 12:1,2

I joined a running club when I lived in Tulsa years ago. I remember the feeling of starting a run all nervous and excited. I would invariably start out too fast but after a few minutes I would settle into my natural pace. And once I eased into that natural rhythm of running, breathing, and relaxing, man it felt like I could run for days. The road stretched in front of me, welcoming my arrival.

I don’t know about you, but as we head toward Christmas and New Year’s, I wonder if we all need to find our stride, our natural rhythm to finish well. Could we look at December like a marathon, choosing to ease into our run, steadying our breath, relaxing shoulders, and softening the gaze? Could we allow the path to stretch out in front of us in welcome, no matter what surprises or disappointments it holds? Unlike any other year, 2020 requires us to dig deep into our relationship with God to find sustaining grace to finish well.

How do we run? Three clues stand out as instructive from Hebrews 12:1-2. First off, we run with endurance. This life is a long haul not a sprint. Organize your life with the end in mind so you can run with endurance. Secondly, we run the race set before us. Don’t run someone else’s race- you don’t have the grace for it and you will never win! Thirdly, most importantly, we fix our eyes on Jesus. It is so stinking easy to fix our gaze on problems or pain. I can lock eyes on all the wrong things- fear, lies, conspiracies, doubt, confusion, boredom, shame, annoyance and 1000 other life-sucking issues. Every morning, and throughout the day, I choose to fix my eyes on Jesus because He is the author and the perfecter of faith. He is good, all the time.

I’ve read through the entire Bible every couple of years for the last 42 years. Yet I still sit down with my Bible every morning. Why? I’m not so much seeking information as I am connection. I am connecting with a living, loving God who longs to communicate with me through His word, through prayer, special revelation and so on. I have yet to plumb the depths of God’s word! I’m almost always surprised, comforted, corrected, or inspired by scripture. 

May you run with endurance the race set before you, my friend. I pray that you fix your eyes, yes set your mind, heart, and intention on Jesus Christ. May you discover fresh insight and joy in your journey with Him. 

*A personal note about my race: writing this blog sharpens me in so many ways. I’m grateful for the opportunity to process the spiritual life with you and to find the words to wrap around this wonderful journey in Christ. My book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion just went into a second printing. I’m so thankful for the ways God is using Gracious Living and I truly want to steward it well. I will be taking a break from writing for the remainder of December to focus on hearing God’s plan for next year. Please send any prayer requests or topic requests for the blog as I love to hear from you. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. See you in 2021!

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