If I was a runner, I am pretty sure I would not be a marathon athlete. I never considered myself a person of patience. I would want to run the 100m dash and get to the finish line as fast as possible. The very thought of training for a grueling race such as a marathon gets me tense. Why would anyone want to put in that much energy and time into training for hours, days and many miles?
Life is not the 100m dash. I enjoyed seeing my Jamaican brother Usain Bolt take the gold and make a new world record. Imagine if he had run the 100m the way he ran his leg of the relay in 8.9seconds. I think there would be a whole lot more drama and frustration about how he could possibly do it without enhancement. But don’t worry it will soon be done in under 9 seconds and we won’t think anything of it.
But life is not a fast race. In fact, it looks more like the slow, methodically rhythm of the marathon. It makes no sense to start out at the head of the pack at break neck pace. We won’t be able to keep up the pace. Ever so often there are markers along the road to tell you that you are heading in the right direction. Those are especially helpful when you seem to have pulled away from the other runners and alone with miles of road ahead. What do you do when the finish line is not in sight? You know it is still ahead of you and its been a while since you’ve seen a marker? How many more miles await? Fancy runners today have watches that keep the time and tell you the miles completed. What do you do in life when there are no markers. You set out on the race, knowing the intended finish line but where you are in the race, there seem to be no sign posts marking how far you have come or how much more there is ahead?
The words of Paul become relevant to me at these stages. Philippians 3:14 We are encouraged to press forward to the finish line ahead. You know it is there. You know that when you started there was Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God cheering you on. They have not left and they won’t. Jesus has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5). Another scripture to remember at this time is to remember that when you have done all you can to stand, then just stand (Ephesians 6:12-14).
I think I’ll let Donnie tell you the same thing in a song. Here is the You Tube link to “Stand.”