The most gruelling part of any marathon is the last 6 miles. That’s when reality hits you and you begin to think, what are you doing running 42 km around London? There are two or three reasons why you keep going.
1. The cheering crowd and cries from people you do not know calling out your name, encouraging you with the words ‘Well done, keep going, not far to go now”
2. The cause or charity you are running for.
3. Seeing and crossing that Finish Line and getting that medal and goodie bag. Not that there is much in the goodie bag but anything will suffice after running 42 kilometres.
I guess mission is like running a marathon. My last 4 months like the last 6 miles. By persevering I will get to the end.
I always believe that the church could learn a few things from the community spirit exhibited at the London marathon i.e. encouraging and cheering people to keep going instead of discouraging them.
Even the Galatians church experienced this. Paul said in Galatians 5: 7 “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
On marathon day everyone is like a family, no one is there to trip you up or set traps in your way. People gather together from different nationalities, backgrounds, colour, class and creed. We use the same toilet or bush, male and female. We may be running for different causes but our aim is to get to the finishing line and we do whatever we can to help others in doing so. I remember asking someone to help me put in one of contact lens that came out while rubbing my eye and she tried and on failing she advised me that the best thing is to discard the other. I ran the rest of the race without them. In fact it helped as I did not have to focus on looking but running, not on the crowd or prevailing circumstances but on my goal.
Some Christians have a bad habit of trampling all over others without even realising it, or caring about the effect of their behaviour on others. The key is not to give up but to keep going. “Run in such a way as to get the prize…. a crown that will last forever” (1 Cor. 9: 24-25). Forgive, pray and move on. Let God deal with them. Don’t become emotionally trapped by their behaviour. Don’t let paralysis entrap you – it is a snare of the enemy, designed to squeeze the life out of you. Keep moving. Be yourself, be free and walk in love and continue to walk in tune with the Spirit.
Paul encouraged Timothy to “..keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (1 Timothy 4: 4)
Then like Paul you will be able to say “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only me but also to all who have longed for his appearing” ( 1 Timothy 4: 7 – 8)
So Keep Going. Not far to go now……