Run as if Your Life Depends on It

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Rabbi Eric Tokajer

Recently, my grandson hit his very first home run while playing baseball. Actually, what he hit was a single to the third baseman, who missed catching the ball. As my grandson ran to first base, the third-base player picked up the ball and threw it to the first baseman, who missed the ball, allowing it to go past him. Because the first baseman missed the catch, my grandson was able to advance to second base.

As my grandson ran to second base, the first baseman picked up the ball and threw it over the head and out of reach of the second baseman, which allowed my grandson to run to third base. Because the outfielders were out of position and not paying attention to the game, when the ball was overthrown past the second baseman and into the outfield, there was no one backing up the second baseman, and the delay in getting to the ball and throwing it to home plate allowed my grandson to score his very first home run.

You may be saying to yourself, “I know that you are a proud grandfather and excited for your grandson’s achievement, but what does this have to do with me?” The answer is in two parts: First, even though my grandson’s home run was the result of many errors by other people, it was still a point for his team and it still was counted as a home run. Second, if my grandson had been watching what was happening with the ball instead of running with his eyes on his coaches, he would not have scored his home run.

You and I, like my grandson in his game, are as the writer of Hebrews said in Chapter 12:1-3, running our race toward our goal of victory

“Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God”” (Heb. 12:1-3a, TLV).

As we run our race, other people around us are going to make errors that, if we allow them to, will slow us down and, in some cases, cause us to stop running our race altogether. However, if we keep our eyes off of the other people and their errors, and keep them fixed on Yeshua, we will be able to finish our race victorious

I know it would have been natural for my grandson, after hitting the ball, to watch where it went to see if the third baseman caught the ball instead of running as fast as he could to first base. But because he didn’t do what his flesh instinctively wanted to do, and he followed the instruction of his coach, he didn’t watch the ball and ran as fast as he could to first base. Because he didn’t watch the ball, he wasn’t distracted by the error made by the third baseman when he missed the catch. He also wasn’t distracted by the bad throw from the third baseman to the first baseman, and he wasn’t distracted by the first baseman missing his catch and having to chase the ball to recover it. He also wasn’t distracted by the first baseman’s error when he threw the ball over the second baseman’s head into the outfield, and he wasn’t distracted by the outfielder’s errors in not paying attention and then mishandling the ball. 

Any one of these distractions could have robbed my grandson from his first homerun and scoring a point for his team. But, not one of them did because he kept his eyes on his coach and obeyed the instructions he was given.

This is a vital lesson for every one of us. The truth is that as we run our race, there will be many people around us making errors. There will be interpersonal errors, religious errors, political errors, leadership errors and so many more. Each one of these errors has the potential to slow us down or completely stop us from running our race, that is, if we allow our human nature to direct our attention or divert our eyes from our coach, Yeshua. However, if we obey what we have been instructed, not only in Hebrews, but also in Colossians, and keep our eyes focused on Yeshua, on things above, on our goal, we can and will win our race.

“Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).

One of the reasons we are filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is so that we will have the power to overcome our fleshly desires and not look at the errors around us. So today, this week, this month, this year, this lifetime, know that as we run our races, all around us people are going to make errors; they will sin. Some will sin against G-D, some against us, some against each other. These errors, or sins, are attempts of the enemy of our souls to distract us and keep us from running our race to victory. We cannot let them! We must keep our eyes focused on Yeshua, no matter what the error is, no matter how many errors there are and no matter who commits the error.

Just keep running as if your life depends on it, because the truth is, it does.

Eric Tokajer is the author of “Overcoming Fearlessness,” “What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?”, “With Me in Paradise,” “Transient Singularity,” “OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry,” “#ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer,” “Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians” and “Galatians in Context.” Visit his website at

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