Slow and Steady
Have you ever run a marathon? Although I enjoy exercising, I can honestly say I’ve never considered participating in a long distance run. I admire those who put themselves through the rigors of training and discipline themselves to eat right to achieve maximum performance.
I understand it’s as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. When a runner reaches the 18-mile mark something happens. The muscles reach a point of fatigue so overpowering it’s easy to entertain thoughts of quitting.
Running 18 miles is quite an accomplishment – something to be proud of. But it’s only through perseverance and focusing on the finish line that every mile of the race is completed.
A different kind of marathon
Writing a book has become my marathon of choice. It’s not a physical activity, but it does involve the same type of discipline and determination. Every day I have to make the choice to sit down and coax the words from my mind to my keyboard. Some days it’s easy and other days it’s excruciating.
I haven’t reached my goal, but I’m slowly inching toward it. Making my goal public has forced me to stay accountable. I’m responsible for delivering what I’ve promised. It’s helped me to remain on track. As the tortoise pointed out to the hare in the beloved children’s classic: Slow and steady wins the race.
The race of life
On a much larger scale, the apostle Paul used the analogy of life as a race:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1
There are those who are watching us; cheering us on and keeping us accountable. He cautions us to keep our eyes open for distractions. There are also things that need to be set aside so we can run a good race: sin, our past, defeat.
When life gets tough, it’s tempting to give up. We can get discouraged by what lies ahead. Or we can keep on going. The choice is ours. When our eyes are focused on the One at the finish line, perseverance is possible. You can run a good race!
Are you struggling to move ahead in this race of life? What steps will you take to persevere?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for filling Your Word with illustrations that meet me right where I am. You understand my human frailties. Help me lay aside the things that hinder me and continue to move forward. As I keep my eyes on You, I can persevere. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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