Bringing the Text to Life

To Hell and Back Hebrews 11:29-12:2

To Hell and Back

The incredible Xterra triathlon takes dedicated training, perseverance and determination and good coaching — much like the spiritual race that is set before us. Fortunately, we have a SuperStar, Player-Coach of our own.

"Strip down, start running - and never quit!"

If you're a serious runner, you recognize the wisdom of these words. They come to us, not from Track and Field, but from Hebrews 12, or at least a contemporary version of it (12:1). Two thousand years ago, the Bible is telling us to get into soul-shape by applying the same type of discipline long-distance racers do today.

The formula for successful distance racing or soul-shaping is simple but tough: Perseverance equals Perspiration, Panting and Pain. When you mount your alloy Aegis frame and start pedaling and sweating - feet fixed to toe clips, wind whipping past you, or when you lace up your Nikes and run for mile after mile, or when you slip into a Speedo and slice through chilly, pre-dawn water on your way to 100 laps, you understand the concept of perseverance.

Right now, there is a select cadre of athletes preparing for perhaps the world's most grueling athletic event. The Xterra World Championship race, scheduled for October and...

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