"If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?" Jeremiah 12:5
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
Chrissy and I were friends before we began dating in college. Our friendship was forged by being teammates on our college track and field team. I was a sprinter and Chrissy was a distance runner. It was a small team and many beautiful friendships were formed by those years together.
We were at a meet one day and Chrissy was running the 10,000 meter race. If you are not familiar with this race, it is a cruel and unforgiving race. It is cruel and unforgiving because you have to run 25 laps around the track for a total of 6.2 miles. Running 6.2 miles can be invigorating in the forest, but not on an oval. While you will have teammates cheering you on, the mental and physical anguish a runner goes through is incredible.
Stride after same stride with no deviation, chasing and being chased by fellow competitors. Wondering how they are feeling and what do they and you have left. Why did you ever line up at the starting line? When will this be over? Who ever dreamed up such a ridiculous race? My friends ask me why I run and right now I am wondering the same thing....
Chrissy was running lap after lap, I was cheering her on beside her father, my future father-in-law. She came to her last lap and we were cheering her on. She made the last turn, the final 100 meters and she would be finished.
She crossed the finish line.....
The official in charge of the race had lost track of her laps and told her that she had one more lap to go.
There was no time to stop and argue, none of her family or friends could come and rescue her. She began again. Stride after same stride for one last lap she didn't actually have to complete, except she did. If she had walked off the track all her former 25 laps would have been forfeited. She was angry, and rightly so, her father and I looked at each other in dismay and confusion, but we couldn't run for her. She had to do that extra lap.
I wonder if this story resonates with you? Have you felt like you are doing stride and after same stride toward a distant finish line? Only to find out that you have another lap, with no argument that can be made.
I imagine that there is a large variance of emotion and stamina right now. Thankfully Scripture gives us insight into two predominate emotions. Lament and Praise. I invite you to find the template for both of these in Scripture and follow the example of our ancients.
There is an expression used in endurance sports. Hitting the wall. It refers to the crash of physical and mental ability. If you have hit the wall or think it might be close then please reach out. There is no shame in it. If you running well at the moment: The wall will find you.
Jesus has gone before you, follow after him.
May you rest in Christ,
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