Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
– 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
I like to run. I wouldn’t call myself a runner, but I do enjoy running…most of the time. A few years back, some of my friends challenged me to run a marathon. I hadn’t run in high school and really had no history of long distance running so this was pretty new to me. But, I’m always up for a challenge, so I said yes.
As we began the training, I would be lying if I said it was easy. There were days that wouldn’t have got out of bed if it weren’t for my trainers and fellow runners pushing me. I hated the interval days. On the longer run days I would come home and feel like I was going to pass out. But, I kept pushing. Mile after mile. Day after day.
All of the sudden the day of the marathon arrived. It was just me, my friends, and hundreds of other runners. I thought to myself, “if they could do it, so could I!” The first 13 miles were an absolute breeze. In fact, I might have begun to get a little too confident, thinking this whole marathon thing was going to be easy. Well, along came mile 20. To say I hit a wall would be an understatement. My mind was telling my body to keep going and my body was telling my mind, “NO WAY!” I was hurting all over, my pace was slowed to almost a crawl and I didn’t know how I would get through the last 6 miles. As people were passing me right and left, I tried not to worry too much about my pace and just keep moving. When mile 22 and 23 came along, I felt like all my practice had paid off. I suddenly got a bit of a second wind and finally ran through the finish line with bands playing and my family cheering.
The first thing on my mind was, “I never want to do this again!” I was tired. I was sore. I was in pain. I was sweating. After a brief rest, my feelings changed from exhaustion to pure excitement. My months of practice paid off. It worked. Discipline works.
God wants us to keep on keeping on. He doesn’t ask us to do great and grand things for his Kingdom. He asks us to be consistent and faithful. A consistent, faithful person is the one who gets more accomplished over the long haul. If you are struggling with soreness, if you’re tired, and if you’re motivation is just not there, I want to encourage you to keep running. Even if you have to slow your pace. God is faithful and He will help you!