Larry and I were in a little antique shop in Ellijay when I saw a cute little sign that read “I’m so far behind I think I am first.” It made me laugh out loud because I could TOTALLY relate.
During my very brief life as a runner, this would have been my mantra. I did the Couch to 5K program and was running [at least that’s what I called it] three miles at a time. I would diligently go to the gym and feel like I was an amazing runner. Somedays though, Larry and I would go to the Silver Comet Trail and he would exercise with me. He’d be doing a brisk walk while I was laboring to “run” at my top speed. I told him one day that he could at least pretend that it was a challenge. He just gave me that “you’re crazy, but I am too nice to say it” look that I get a lot, added a smile and kept going.
That story popped into my head this morning when, on the 11th day of January, it begins to occur to us that this new year is a marathon and not a sprint. There are days when we’ll be on the treadmill, setting our own pace, measuring ourselves only against ourselves. And then there will be those days when we’re the huffing and puffing and struggling to keep up with others who seem to be moving at a brisk pace with no effort at all.
This is true in running, in working, and in chasing our dreams. It’s time to shift our focus to ideas like perseverance, endurance, and pressing on. I’m thankful that I don’t have to rely on my own strength to get me to where I am headed, but as Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
I’ll leave you with one final thought from Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Or, as my favorite character from Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming.”