I want to leap ahead with giant strides but instead I fail forward more often than I would like to admit. God has a way of turning my swagger into a stagger again and again. His goal is not to destroy me but to remind me. He relentlessly jolts me with the reality that the race he has marked out for me will only be won if my eyes are riveted to His one and only Son. The writer of Hebrews reminds us all of this same raw truth in Hebrews 12:1-3,
“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
We fix our eyes on our Savior who is waiting at the It is finished line with his own skinned knees, bruised body and pierced hands. His body bruised from the beatings he took, his hands pierced from the crucifixion he endured and his knees skinned from the weight of the cross that pushed him down to the jagged pavement of the Via dolorosa (AKA “The Way of Suffering“).
Yes, it was the crucifixion that paid the penalty for us sinners but it was his skinned knees that demonstrated the pathway for us saints. Jesus ran his race toward Golgotha with a limp. He clawed his way forward and climbed his way up “the hill of the skull” with his own skull wrapped in a painful crown of thorns. I’m sure he got dizzy from the loss of blood and friends but he didn’t stop pushing forward until he took his place in our place on the cross.
Now he stands at the finish line cheering us on even as we stumble toward him. By his grace and through his Spirit we press forward until we trip across the tape into his outstretched arms. In that moment we’ll long to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant” whispered in our ears by the Savior himself. If we want to hear those words then we need to follow his example now. We need to spend time in our own garden of Gethsemane getting prayed up. And then we need to get up, move forward and keep pressing on until our race is run, until the “it” he has called us to “is finished.”
If you feel like you’re just failing forward everyday then you are in good company. You are in the company of Christ himself.