Do you give up easily? Do you attack challenges with enthusiasm only to drift into an attitude of lethargy, wishing you hadn’t even begun? The temptation to pack it all in can be overwhelming sometimes and we can diligently construct a catalogue of reasons why a particular endeavour should be ended, making room for an ‘out’. However, in actuality, we rarely throw in the towel and instead manage to drag ourselves through the tough patches, in other words, we just keep going.
This week at Stonehaven Baptist Church we learned more about this attitude of steadfastness, the ability to stand firm despite tests and tribulations, to dust ourselves down and carry on. We talked too about the importance not just of continuing the journey, but doing so with the original objective in mind, not moving the goalposts to a more convenient location halfway through because the going gets tough. We don’t bail out, instead we lean in, refusing to compromise on our original intention. The London Marathon for example stretches to twenty six miles with entrants required to complete the entire course, not re-locate the finish line when it all gets too much at the twenty mile ‘wall’. Similarly, there’ll be goals that we’ve either been set by others or that we’ve set ourselves, where the satisfaction of accomplishment can only be truly achieved upon a genuine completion of the task, no cutting corners or settling for second best.
It takes strong mental fortitude to keep moving on sometimes, it can be an effort simply to put one foot in front of another, yet thankfully, in all circumstances, there is a God to strengthen and guide us. It doesn’t always feel that way right? So much pain and suffering exists in the world that it’s easy to doubt God’s love for us and we shake our fists at him, crying out “why?”. But his existence and his love doesn’t disappear simply because our finite minds can’t comprehend his infinite one. If we remain solid in our faith, keep on keeping on, knowing that such resoluteness is not in vain, good will out and peace will come, and that’s a guarantee for those who believe in Jesus Christ and his victory over death.
Easter may be over, our chocolate eggs eaten and the Jesus story packed away for another year, but our God is a living God, a 24/7 God, who’s grace and mercy abounds every day. He lives on as we live on and if we can keep being faithful to him, remaining in step with him, praying to him and being open to his promptings, this will be a marathon well worth the completion. Eternity isn’t a long time, it’s forever, and it’s our prayer that your life here on earth is blessed with a perseverance that is rewarded in this life and also in the next, peace on earth followed by eternal peace in heaven, something which can only be achieved through belief. Keep going, your labours are not in vain.