”Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud
of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so
easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set
before us.” – Hebrews 12:1

Do you sometimes feel as if you\’re stuck on one of those hamster
wheels? You run and run, and get nowhere. I\’ve felt like that lately.

I\’ve been making yet another effort to get into shape, and I\’m focusing
less on appearance this time. In my younger days, I aimed for a goal
weight or a pant size. Not any more. This time, my goal is to feel
better. Period. I\’m tired of being tired. Plus I\’d like to get to the
point where I could jog without passing out.

I set up a treadmill in my basement. It amuses me that I\’ve walked what
seems like a thousand miles, and I\’m still in the same place – in an
unfinished basement listening to my old stereo, one with an eight-track
player, no less.

Today as I trudged along, I wondered how many people feel like this
could be a metaphor for their lives. I know time marches on even if I\’m
not going anywhere. The digital timer I watch ever so closely assures
me of that.

And I do know I\’m walking forward. I smile when I think of the time my
sister-in-law had to be picked up off the floor at the gym because she
set the treadmill to the wrong speed, couldn\’t keep up, and ended up
going backwards – right onto her backside.

In order to discipline my body, I must be consistent. It doesn\’t help
much if I exercise very strenuously one day, but then don\’t work out
for a month. The writer who spoke to the Hebrews advised them to ‘run
with patience\’ the race set before them. The cares of this world can
discourage us in our walk with Christ, but let us keep our eyes fixed
on Jesus, look straight ahead, and focus on our Lord and Savior, Jesus

Paul told the Philippians, “Holding forth the word of life; that I may
rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither
labored in vain.”

My prayer is that as I make my way down the path of life, I will
fulfill the purpose God has for me, and I will not have labored in vain.

One day, I\’m hoping I\’ll be rewarded with a healthier body for my
effort on the treadmill. I\’ll press on, “laying aside every weight.”
Now I know the writer of Hebrews referred to things that would hinder
our spiritual growth, but oh, how I wish I could lay aside some
physical weight as well!

Prayer: Lord, I thank You for Your Word that is a lamp for my
path. I desire to follow You all the days of my life. Help me to keep
my eyes fixed on You. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Donna Shepherd Inspirational Writer

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word.

She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).