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 the runner can complete the remaining eight miles of the race.
The race of life
On a much larger scale, the apostle Paul used the analogy of our entire life being 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, KJV
There are those who are watching us; cheering us on and keeping us accountable. Paul 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 (click to tweet). We can get discouraged by what might lie ahead. Or we can keep pushing ahead. The choice is ours. When our eyes are focused on the One at the finish line, perseverance is possible.
As the tortoise pointed out to the hare in the beloved children’s classic: Slow and steady wins the race (click to tweet). You CAN run a good race!
Are you struggling to move ahead in this race of life? What step will you take to persevere?
Can I pray for you?
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.