There is a story told by Mary Hollingsworth about the acclaimed director, Cecil B. DeMille. When they began working on the movie Ben-Hur, DeMille talked to Charlton Heston, the star of the movie, about the all-important chariot race at the end. He decided Heston should actually learn to drive the chariot himself, rather than just using a stunt double. Heston agreed to take chariot-driving lessons to make the movie as authentic as possible.
This was no small feat! Learning to drive a chariot with horses four abreast, was an enormous challenge. After extensive work and days of practice, Heston returned to the movie set and reported to DeMille. He said, “I think I can drive the chariot all right, Cecil, but I’m not at all sure I can actually win the race.”
With a slight smile on his face, DeMille said, “Heston, you just stay in the race, and I’ll make sure you win.”
That is God’s promise to us as well: “You just stay in the race, and I’ll make sure you win.”
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
Let us pray. God of hope, we remember the encouragement we receive from the book of Hebrews – that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. Therefore, we will run with perseverance the race that is set before us. We trust that you are with us every step of the way – even unto eternity. Grant us strength and courage, we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.