This week while having the joy of watching my 10 ½ month old grandson, Tristan, I got to witness his “don’t give up attitude”. We have a playpen he spends some of his time in and the past couple weeks he has desperately wanted to pull himself up on the rails and stand. He has done this at his home already, but this environment is a bit higher than he is used to. On Monday I could see the determination in his face to reach the peak of his Mt. Everest—he focused, he adapted when a technique didn’t work, he persisted, and finally he was up and had a look of pure joy and excitement!
Some of you know one of my “hobbies” is running. I like it because it is a healthy activity and I especially like race days because of the comradery I feel even with strangers—we are all going to be hurting together! This week I began training for the October Kansas City Marathon after taking a few weeks off to let some body parts heal. I still think it is a good strategy, but I was basically starting all over. It has been tough and throw in some high-humidity and at times it has been brutal. But I have a secret weapon now, when I’m really hurting and thinking about quitting, I can picture Tristan popping up and looking at me over that rail and his look of exuberance from achieving a goal. My what we can learn from a baby!
Crossing the finish line for any distance, let alone a marathon, is a challenge no matter how much you have trained and prepared—there are many unexpected things that you will encounter over the course of 26.2 miles. I have found the same to be true in life. Even as a follower of Jesus Christ it seems there are roadblocks most every day. But I have learned to keep my eye on the finish line. I love how Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7 that, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” My desire is when it is time for me to leave this life that I can honestly say that and perhaps even more importantly that those who know me can say that about me.
In October I will cross that finish line in downtown Kansas City and will do it with the joy and excitement of a 10 ½ year old; and when the day comes I will with bow before the throne with the joy and excitement of a 10 ½ year old.