I’ve been to ballgames in lots of different sports. I’m a college basketball fan and I especially love the boys in blue from University of Kentucky. For several years a good friend of mine would get me tickets to the Georgia-Kentucky game in Athens, GA. I love a good college basketball game. I remember the first time that Georgia started making it a show at pre-game and how they announced the players. The place would go wild with excitement as the lights went down and the crowd was on its feet cheering for the home team. During the game the crowd can make a huge difference in how the home team plays. The players do something great and the crowd get fired up and excited and the crowd inspires the players to perform their best. I love the excitement. The Hebrew writer is reminding me that I’ve got a great crowd cheering me on too! Check this out….1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)
The “great cloud” or great crowd in my mind is interchangeable. The passage is implying that the great crowd/cloud of witnesses consists of those who’ve gone before me. I imagine Moses, Elijah, David, Isaiah, Peter, John, the Apostle Paul and most important Jesus. There are probably some family members from my ancestry who are there too. I can picture grand parents, aunts, uncles, ministers and friends who’ve gone on before cheering and encouraging me to keep on pursuing God’s heart. I can hear them telling me it’s worth the effort and purpose.
I have to confess that the great cloud of witnesses is a good bit different than a crowd at a basketball. If I take in their presence and notice their life, I’m inspired and encouraged to keep the faith and stay on the journey. I think it’s also important to choose the crowd that I’m allowing to cheer me on. There is a crowd that would love to see my destruction and demise because that’s the path their on. It would sometimes be easy to yield to that way instead of keeping on the pursuit of the God’s heart. I want to choose the right crowd/cloud of witnesses.
I don’t want to quit early. I want to finish strong. I don’t want to miss the destination because I quit the pursuit. I want to push through the pain and struggle of life to pursue real life that is permanent and eternal! I want to keep my eyes on Jesus as the great cloud/crowd of witnesses cheers me on!Pressing On! Dwayne