As I ran through the extreme heat and humidity that characterizes the first of August in the South, not only was my heart racing, but my mind was as well.
I recalled to mind that the race for life is likened to a marathon foot race and I came to realize just how accurate a depiction that truly is. Running mile after mile in less than favorable conditions made me question myself several times: Why am I doing this? What reward or satisfaction do I receive? Who is watching? Who will know if I give up? Is there any end in sight?
The answers, however, are all at my disposal. I am doing this to prove to myself that I can, to strengthen my endurance, and to win. What is the prize? Peace. That is true also in the race for life. As I struggle, as I push myself up the hills, through the suffocating heat (or at times, the bitter cold), I keep in mind the reward of eternal life in a peaceful paradise. Even if the finish line is not in sight, I have confidence that there is a finish line and I can reach it. This is not to be confused with overconfidence; no, my cheerleading audience composed of the Almighty God, His son Jesus, the faithful angels and the worldwide brotherhood of worshipers are supporting me.
In a physical footrace, there may be times when the only cheering squad I have is myself. The mind, too, can be a powerful driving force, yet it can also be a downfall.
As I run through trying circumstances, my mind often says "You can't do it, you'll never be good enough, fast enough, strong enough. Even if you conquer this hill, you'll stumble soon after. Failure is inevitable - give up now." These thoughts can be debilitating and destructive if I allow them to consume me. I silence them as quickly as I can. I look ahead to my reward, my finish line. Even if the finish line is not in sight, I have faith that I can reach it. I must reach it. I know that soon all the struggling will be over - my muscles, my lungs and my heart will rest. I have hope.
I run and I run and I run and I hope for what I do not see.