Monday, August 4, 2014

Perseverance

I've been doing a little bit of running lately.

I should clarify.  When I say "running," what I mean is jogging. Slowly. Barely faster than my fast walk pace.

I've been running slow-jogging intervals.  That means I run slow-jog from this mailbox to that mailbox or from the no passing sign to the 5th crack in the road, then I'll walk for a bit, and go back to running slow-jogging from the corner to the 3rd driveway, which in my rural area could be as much as 1/4 of a mile.  My goal is to be able to travel 3 miles in 30 minutes on foot by the end of October.  Totally do-able.

I don't enjoy running.  I would like to enjoy running, and I certainly think the potential is there for me to enjoy running someday, but I'm not quite there yet.  Or even very close.  I do like being in a position to make my body do what I tell it to do, so that's a start.

Anyway... I'll be slow-jogging along and I'll be eyeing my finish line mailbox or crack or whatever, and it's not fun.  The pounding, the fast breathing, the sweating.  It is sooo not fun.  As I get closer to the end of an interval, it is so tempting to speed up.  So it'll be over faster.

But I have learned--the hard way--that it is much easier to complete the running slow-jog intervals if I continue to maintain my slow and steady pace.

I wonder if this is what God meant in Hebrews:

"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..."
Hebrews 12:1b

According to Dictionary.com, perseverance is steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Another definition of perseverance is determined continuation with something: steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite difficulties or setbacks

Steady persistence. Determined continuation.  Steady and continued action. Consistent.  Some translations use endurance or patience instead of perseverance.  All implying that this race is more a marathon than a sprint.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get impatient in this race I'm running, this life I'm navigating.  I want answers.  I want action.  Now. I get tired of plodding along.  I know that God's promises are true, but I can't see how to get there from here.  Sometimes, it is so not fun.  And it is so tempting to step off the race course. 

The hard truth is that God's timing is God's timing, not ours.  And if we try to speed up, if we try to go our own way in an effort to reach the finish line faster, instead of staying on God's path, we just make it harder on ourselves.

Let's run with perseverance, friends.

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