Tight IT Band
Severe knee pain
Exercise induced headaches and vomiting
Hours, weeks, and months of physical therapy
What do these words in common? They describe my painful marathon training experience this year, with each being an obstacle along the way. Pain and discouragement characterize this six month journey that will soon come to an end.
There have been times that I wanted to quit – even declared that I would. Yet, the commitment I made keeps tugging at my heart. There’s the added element of the marathon being on my 40th birthday and the emotions that would surely consume me if I quit. I’d live with regret the rest of my life and never forget the day I entered that dreaded decade of life.
Yet, failing at something doesn’t define one as a failure. And, over the course of my training, I did succeed in running a ½ marathon race (during the onset of hurricane). So, I sat on the fence trying to decide what to do.
Finally, with very little time to spare, I made my decision. I would rather try and fail on race day than to quit before I even arrive. Will it be easy? No. Are the conditions ideal? Absolutely not. But, I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I did my best and didn’t quit just because the outcome was uncertain.
With this new mindset, the race has become a statement of my spiritual journey. I’ve had some tough times in my life – times of disappointment, rejection, and extreme hurt – when answering God’s call. So the questions become: Do I quit when I don’t see evidence of God’s promises? Do I turn the other way when what He’s called me to do is difficult? Do I forfeit the blessing of hearing, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”?
Where is your faith today? Are you struggling to keep moving towards the goal? Has life become so difficult that you want to give up on God? I pray that you, too, find your strength in Him and that you press on. Our faith delights Him. Perhaps seeing God smile is the motivation we need to take the next step as we get back in the game.
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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3