Written by: Vivian Wilson
It is the middle of week eight. I’m still going for it! I thought I should give a progress report because I am quite sure that
most, some, well maybe one or two of you are interested in how my marathon training is progressing. It is. Progressing that is. That alone is an accomplishment given the fact that it is August, and the humidity is 100% and the temperature feels like ninety-plus degrees at 6:00 A.M. We are running six miles Saturday, adding a mile every week until we run the 1/2 marathon at the end of October.
I have learned something. Doing this at age 65 is a little more difficult than at ate 58 or 59 when I ran my first two marathons.
I have learned something else. This requires Perseverance with a capital “P”. (Perseverance= continuing a course of action in spite of difficulty.)
The one or two of you who are still with me might remember that I really don’t like to run. So this training is not always fun or easy. I like the people that I hang out with on Saturday morning though! (Thought I’d throw in something positive about training.)
So “Why in the world are you doing this?” you ask. I have a goal to finish in under six hours. I am motivated because I know I can do better that the six hours and three minutes I finished in the last marathon.
There is an alternative. When it gets harder than I like, I can give up and quit. No, I really can’t. Unless things happen that are out of my control and make it impossible, I finish what I start.
This is what keeps me going. I believe I can accomplish my goal. And when I do finish the race, even if it is not under six hours, I will have a whole bunch of family and friends at the finish line to cheer me on and to celebrate the victory with me.
So I think about these things when I am hot and tired. Then I take the next step and the next and the next until I see the parking lot where a hundred other crazy people have gathered on Saturday morning to train together. Suddenly, I don’t feel as tired. The weariness is replaced by a sense of accomplishment, of pride and joy that comes from finishing the work. And while I can’t measure the growth of strength and endurance on a given day, I am confident that by being consistent and faithful to the task, it will be evident when I cross that finish line.
I know I have said this before, but it is truth, living a life that spills Jesus onto anyone who gets close to us requires perseverance. (The thing about truth is that you can never get too much of it.)
We are told in Hebrews 12:1, that we are to run with perseverance the race marked out for us. God has chosen the course we are to run. Parts of the race, times in our lives, will be difficult. We will have to persevere. How do we do that? Verse 2 says by fixing our eyes on Jesus.
Perseverance builds character and makes us mature followers of Christ.
James 1:4, “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
So there you have it. Simple!!??!!??!! Put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, never giving up, looking to the finish line with hope and assurance, confident that we are never alone. Though we can’t see our spiritual growth on any given day, we can know that God is using the hard days of our lives to shape us into the persons He created us to be, equipping us to do the work that we were specifically designed to do.
After a few hard miles we come to the “parking lot” where we are encouraged. We didn’t die, no one had to go and search for us because we decided to quit. No, we persevered and made it to the place of rest and refreshment. We know next Saturday will come, but for now we can rest, feeling confident that what we did today we can do again.
What makes this possible in the spiritual sense is that we have the power and presence of the Holy Spirit enabling us.
More updates to come, (I’m sure)