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,
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
On June 21, 2019, Wilfrid Leblanc, 57, broke the Grouse Grind record, finishing 19 ascents in approximately 18 hours, and gaining 15,295 metres – almost double Mount Everest. The Grouse Grind trail ascends Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Every summer solstice, Grouse Mountain hosts the Multi-Grind Challenge, raising money for BC Children’s Hospital. Leblanc wasn’t the only vertical junkie breaking these endurance records. Brooke Spence, 37, and James Stewart, 40, each completed 18 Grinds. Spence beat her previous record of 17 ascents, set in 2018.
In hockey, the hometown crowd is known as “the 7th man.” The support of fans can have a profound influence on a team – urging them to press on, to work hard, to win. This has always been the case in the world of sports. The author of Hebrews understood this and wrote in Hebrews 12:1: “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.” One of the mysteries of the Christian faith is that we don’t live for Jesus alone. We are part of the family of God in our day and “a great cloud of witnesses” who have been the people of God down through history. The previous chapter, Hebrews 11, is the great Hall of Faith, listing the faithful men and women of God in the Hebrew scriptures. We are reminded that they are “the 7th man,” the home team, cheering us on as we walk with Jesus in our generation. Press on, and hear the great cloud of witnesses cheering you on as you do.
These have been words from the heart.