Don’t you just love to watch people run? Whether they’re running a race or a marathon, or just trying to get into shape, there’s something inspiring about seeing a person in swift motion. Every time I see a runner, I just want to cheer and encourage him or her to keep going.
Well, with one possible exception. If the person is wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun, I probably won’t cheer.
But any other kind of runner inspires me. The sight stirs up memories of the theme song from “Chariots of Fire.” It makes me want to go lace up my own running shoes and give it a go.
As a matter of fact, I have started running recently. Don’t be too impressed, though. I can run about .2 miles without stopping. That’s point two. Then I walk a few steps, catch my breath, and run about .2 more. And on it continues until I reach my goal.
Or until I collapse in the grass. Whichever comes first.
But here’s the good news: When I keep going, I eventually reach my goal. It may take a while, but I get there. As a matter of fact, last week I racked up a whopping 3.6 miles a day! Jog a little. Walk a little. Jog a little. Walk a little.
I may not win any races except my own. But in the end, isn’t that the only race that matters?
My little jogging victories remind me of the importance of continuing in the pursuit of other goals. Like the twenty pounds I want to lose. Sure, I’d like to lose it all in a week. But even if I lose a half pound a week . . . I’ll get there. So what if it takes nearly a year? That year will pass by anyway. If I give up, I won’t be any better off then than I am now. So I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Most of us have goals. Hard goals, or they wouldn’t be worth having in the first place. And often, we’re tempted to just collapse in the grass before we get there.
Goals like finishing that college degree. One class at a time. Or getting that garage cleaned out. One square foot at a time. It may take a while, but if we just keep taking tiny little steps, we’ll get there.
Our journeys of faith can seem that way, too. Having faith in God can be hard. When stuff happens that we don’t understand, or things don’t go our way, we want to quit. We want to say, “Never mind, God. This is too difficult. I’ll do this on my own, without you.”
Then we collapse in the grass, and we stay there. And a day passes, then a week, then a year, then a decade . . . and we’re no further along in our journeys toward becoming who He created us to be than we were when we first gave up.
Oh, the failure doesn’t come in collapsing. We all want to give up now and again. The failure comes when we refuse to get back up, when we refuse to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I don’t know about you, but I plan to keep moving forward. One little step at a time. Point two miles at a time. Half a pound at a time. And eventually, I’ll be stronger, healthier and skinnier. And then, it really won’t matter how long it took me to get there.
1 John 2:28 “And now, dear children, continue in Him . . .”