The Ultra Marathon

Saturday my son, Lyle, ran in what’s called a hundred mile ultra marathon. This wasn’t the first time he had done something like this; so he knew how grueling it could be. I watched him for a few days as he made his preparation for this run. Stretching his leg muscles was essential. It looked painful to me but a necessary step. He had a variety of vitamins he took that would also help his body. He packed his gym bag with energy bars and items to fuel his body with carbs and salt throughout the course. Water, fruit, soup, etc. he could grab at the check in stations throughout the approximately 24 hour marathon. From start to finish it will almost be “mind over body” and total determination.

Life is like an ultra marathon, only we don’t know how long our race is. Some are much longer than others. But in case you haven’t discovered it yet; life is hard (or it will be sooner or later)! In fact, it can be down right grueling at times.

Yes, there are ways to take care of our physical bodies and we should. However, we need to be diligent to care for our spiritual as well. Feeding our souls with the Word of God can’t be just a “hit or miss” task. It needs to be a daily commitment that we look forward to.

What about your faith? Has it faltered? Does it need to be stretched? What about that time when you knew there were some “grueling days” coming? Did you determine to “trust in the Lord with all your heart,” no matter what? Trust Him for strength, for wisdom, for protection, for provision? Or did you grow weary?

And yes, what about those days when you thought,” I just can’t make it,” and you were ready to throw in the towel? Here’s when those spiritual muscles need to be put to work. Here’s where you need to remember what God has done for you in the past; remember that He was with you before, He is with you now and He will not leave you or forsake you. He will not fail you. Be determined not to throw in the towel and quit. Let this be your choice even during those grueling days.

A runner has to be faithful, committed and consistent in his training if he has any intention in running the ultra. This is what God desires from each of us as we “run our ultra marathon of life,” so we can say as Paul did,

“…I have finished my course; I have kept the faith.” II Tim. 4:7

And then to hear Jesus say,

“Well, done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of the Lord.” Matt. 25:23

What a reward to hear that at the finish line!

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