26.2 miles. The marathon, for which I had trained for months, was now over and I was the proud owner of a huge finisher medal! My tired feet crossed the finish line. My coach was waiting with open arms for what I will remember as the best hug of my life.
Injuries and setbacks, hot humid weather and below freezing rains. I had trained on days when I couldn’t wait to get outside and on days when it was the last thing I wanted to do. Now, it was over and time to reflect.
I had finished something I had set out to do. This is an everyday occurrence for some, but not for me. I, like many others, have in many ways adapted to this life and its destructive ideology of everything that feels good is good and everything that feels bad is bad.
I have left careers, relationships, and opportunities and felt good in believing that I was looking for “the right thing” – when I was really looking for the easy thing.
We want success to come without conflict, entertainment to be readily available, and for goodness sakes, we deserve to be happy and recognized every minute of our lives.
The minute we get uncomfortable, we justify giving up and quitting – all while blaming conditions or others for our failures.
In words, we worship God and serve others as good stewards of God’s grace. But in actions, we are worshiping the god of self and serving our flesh.
The truth is, we must learn to embrace things that are not comfortable in order that we may “…run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1)
I don’t want to sacrifice the hard work that goes into building an honest career. I am no longer content to walk away from relationships and forego the peace that complements celebrating milestone anniversaries.
I will train in a way that every race I run, I can trust my coaches’ arms to be waiting for me. And I will worship in such a way that God will one day look at me as I cross the finish line and say: “Well done, good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:23).
Huge medals and crowns of righteousness come through perseverance and hard work – like running with endurance. There really is no other way.