Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. –Hebrews 12:1-3
In the 1968 Olympics within the stadium in Mexico City, the stands had gone dark after an extremely busy day of some of the finest track and field events in the history of the Olympics. All that remained inside the stadium were a few judges, the clean-up crew, and a handful of reporters who were filing their reports. All of a sudden out of nowhere, a runner in his country’s track uniform half hobbled and half ran into that great stadium. He was a marathon runner who was literally hours behind the official last place finisher. He ran around the track and crossed the finish line. One of the reporters ran down to the field to ask this runner why he bothered to finish the race since he was obviously hurting and no one would even count him as a finisher. The injured runner looked up at the reporter and said, “My country did not send me over 5,000 miles to start the race but rather to finish it.”
This man persevered, endured the pain, and finished the race. What a hero! What do you need to do today to sustain your life, your faith, family, or health over the long haul? Is there something in which you need to wholeheartedly persevere to finish the race of life well?
Remember this great piece of advice offered to me by my good friend Bill Hall, “When the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing, you will change.” The way I figure it is that in life, we either choose the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Choose today the pain of discipline.
1. What area of your life do you most feel like you are struggling to keep going?
2. What steps do you need to take in this area to become more disciplined in order to persevere?
John 15:1-8; Galatians 6:9