I ran my first marathon back in 2004. A year after having a tumor removed from my chest. I ran my last marathon in 2009. I did not stop running because I stopped loving it. No, my declining health made that decision for me. But even though I was forced to stop running physically, I have never stopped running the race God has mapped out for me. None of us should ever stop running.
A marathon is 26.2 miles. Did you get that .2? The race does not stop at 26 miles. If a runner stops at 26 miles they did not finish the race. A race only ends after you complete the whole 26.2 miles. During those long training days and the 26.2 mile race, a lot of lessons are learned. Not just about running, but about life. Let me share just a few.
The Race Is Longer Than You Think. Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Remember the .2 of the 26.2 marathon? If we do not finish the .2, we have not completed the race. We cannot stop at mile 26. The marathon of life does not stop at 26 miles either. Life is a series of .2 miles. Our race does not end until God calls us home.
Don’t Take Shortcuts. When I was training for my marathons, it would have been easy to take some shortcuts. Take the short way home. Take something to help me on those tough days. Add some extra miles to my running log. The temptation is real to take some shortcuts or worse; to give up. We face those same temptations in life:
Your marriage is not going the way you hoped it would. You might be tempted to start the race over with some else.
Your job is not going the way you had hoped. The temptation to just quit and start over is real.
Your life is not going the way you hoped. Giving up seems so tempting. Please don’t do it.
As we are running this marathon called life, sometimes we feel the best answer is to quit and start over. But a new race brings its own struggles and heartache.
During those times we want to take a shortcut, start a new race or to quit, we have to turn to God and seek His guidance. We must allow God to get us back on track. To give us a new mindset.
Keep Running Until You Finish The Race. We can only finish the race, if we are running the race. So get off that couch and take the first step to your purpose in life. The marathon will not always be easy. I can promise you that. On those days, make the choice to take small steps.
A lot of people never see the awesome power of God because they refuse to hang in there on those tough runs. Giving up is easier.
As you run the race God has given you, I encourage you not to forget those .2’s. They might seem annoying, but those .2’s are a must in completing your marathon. So keep running. ~OC