During my 4 year gap between baby #2 and baby #3, I took up running. And being one who loves a good challenge, I took up running half marathons. To be successful (which meant finishing without feeling like I was going to die), I had to train for the race I entered. Whether you want to admit it or not, life is a race too and you must train for the race or be left feeling less than successful.
Even the good parts are hard some days
We know life is challenging. You live that reality every single day.
The best kids are challenging at times. Your dream job is challenging at times. I find myself challenging at times. Faith causes you to grapple with every part of your life, making even faith challenging. And sometimes, we dream of an easier life.
But, life isn’t easy and even the good parts are hard some days.
What we do—lose hope, give up? No. Neither of those options gets us any closer to our goal. Becoming who God designed remains worthwhile, even on the hard days. No better reward exists. Remember these words: Becoming who God designed is always your best choice.
Finishing is about enduring
And so, we persist.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (emphasis added)
We run with endurance. We live with endurance. Endurance pushes us to finish the race before us.
Consider the word “endure.” Does a weight immediately bear down on you? Are you hopeful about something that seems difficult but is assuredly manageable? Endurance bears honesty.
Finishing our race well requires enduring all the moments of life. We celebrate the good, face the bad, and live the ordinary days quietly passing by. We’re not promised a life of ease. In fact, multiple times we’re warned of trials we’ll face (James 1:2-4) and the disapproval of others (John 15:18-25).
Endurance comes at a cost.
Train for the race that is your life
If during my short-lived running career, I had entered a half marathon but only trained for a 5K, the results could have been disastrous. I imagine myself lying alone on the roadside somewhere about mile 7 gasping for air and holding my side.
Similarly, if we’re only living for today, tomorrow, and maybe next month, we’re woefully unprepared to endure what might happen in the future. Each moment is part of a bigger story and that the bigger story doesn’t have an ending we can predict. Basically, we’re running a race without a race map and we trust God to lead us through.
Train for the race that is your life. Don’t focus on just today or tomorrow. Look ahead and train for where you’re going. Your personal growth doesn’t end at any point. You will never find the end of God’s revelation to you in scripture. There will not be an end to people you can serve. Opportunities abound every moment you spend on Earth.
Train for the race that doesn’t end, train for your life of faithfulness.
Your Next Steps:
Endurance builds off healthy habits.
Are you spending time in scripture? Need a place to start? I highly suggest The Bible Recap chronological study plan.
How’s your prayer life? Spend time being honest with God.
Find people who will help you grow.