Running a marathon is difficult, challenging, and mentally exhausting, even to the veteran. Having run a few, I now see that most of life plays itself out like a caricature of a 26+ mile run. Marathons always involve a myriad of factors – physical conditioning, shoes, weather, outfit (cooling or warming), and terrain to name just a few. Each race varies, however the one thing they all have in common is the distance; all twenty-six miles two hundred and forty six yards as I recall.
The challenge with the distance is not the distance, rather the time the race has to play with one’s mind. Do you really want to complete the race? Is it really worth it? Do you want to do this today? Why put your body through this, there are easier ways to see the course? Who really cares about getting a medal, you know you are not going to “win.”
“Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.” (Proverbs 14.23)
A few observations:
First; it is never about coming in first, it is always about completing the distance. Everyone who runs and finishes is a winner.
Second; there are always choices in life. You can find alternatives to any decision and most of the time the alternatives will seem to be easier. Life is never about finding easy street.
Third; to live and experience the fullness of life you must persevere and then persevere some more until the very end. Every life is different in so many ways, yet it is the sense of purpose, mission, and method that one is able to live full and fuller.
I would be the last one to suggest that your load or another’s is lighter or easier to carry than mine. I do not believe that we are in any position to judge another. What I do know is that God has the toughest load and continues to carry it with grace, compassion, and mercy oozing out at every corner.
Today I choose to run, and then run more and more.