The choice to persevere…

Often times, over the past four years, I find myself returning to a statement that rings truer and truer with each passing day…

Running is so much like life.

Perhaps you’re reading this today and you’ve already “clicked off”.  A runner – I’m out.  Well, let me challenge you with this question:  What have you wanted to “quit” today?  What are you simply ‘done’ with?  What is it that you want to end in the worst way? What have you endured, endured, endured, and you simply can’t endure anymore, not one more moment?  What are surprised about that is still “work” in your life?

Well, the next logical question begs to be answered – why persist?  What’s the point?

Ahhhh, now we are getting somewhere (spoken by the great Pink Panther).  If we can answer this question, we can be able to stand on a firm foundation.  You then watch the doubts, confusion, and negativity dissipate into thin air.

Romans 5: 2 – And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

When my mind wants to quit, when my body screams to stop, when I can’t quite remember why I’m running in the first place, I stand on my truth.  The reason I run is because God asked me to.  I simply want to obey.  I trust in his plan.  I made a commitment.  I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to bring Him glory.  The only reason I can endure, is because He provides – He has poured out his love into my heart by the Holy Spirit.  His strength is completed in my weakness.  A marathon is a feat I simply cannot complete by sheer talent, will, and determination, neither is life.  I cannot will myself to be patient, I cannot will myself to create peace, joy, and love.  I simply need to humbly confess and ask.

Lord, I cannot move forward on my own.  I’ve tried.  I just make a complete mess of things.  It leaves me exhausted, frustrated, and utterly dumbfounded to control the outcomes of my life.  Will you help me?  I not only want a little pep-talk, I want you to simply invade all parts of my life.  I want there to be something that smells “sweet” about the fragrance that you bring into a room (hard task after all that sweating too!).  I want people to notice something different about my life.  I want there to be examples of unconditional, radical love that spills over into the lives of those around me.  I want there to be no doubt that I have spent time with you.  I know that can only come from the power of the Holy Spirit that resides in me.  I trust you.  I trust your promises.  Lord, help me to persevere in my training, not out of performance-based love, but out of a desire to bring glory to your Holy Name.  I love you Jesus.

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