Life is a marathon – in far too many ways. Having run a few it is interesting to watch others take on the same challenge. Some are more skilled, knowledgeable, and capable in their approach than I was at my best; in these cases my interest is in understanding their approach and reflecting how it could apply to the bigger question. Others run in a way that tells me that they are facing the same challenges that I did during my first two races. Most of the time, I want to scream out my lessons – but I sit and should encouragement like the rest of the spectators.
People have to run their race. You and I can observe, challenge, and encourage but their race is theirs, and our race rests with ourselves. Most of the time, the lessons you observe in another’s life are just that; lessons. The person involved may or may not be able to accept the lesson at that particular moment in time. So who is in the position to see and understand the observation? Perhaps it is time for you and me to look in the mirror.
Many first time marathoners start running the race faster than they are going to be able to finish it. There is little in the tank for emergencies. Nothing is left for anything extra. And, as a result when you want to put that extra effort in to help another, finish the race on target, or achieve something special, the ability to do so will always depend on what is held in reserve.
The lessons from this are endless. Wisdom saw this and applied it to the beauty that was realized by the ideal wife. “She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.” (Proverbs 31.16)
Running is a process not a destination. Running a marathon is far more than achieving a goal of how fast one can run 26.2 miles. It is about how you prepare, how you respond to life, and what, in the end, is important.