It’s almost 3 weeks into the new year. How are your resolutions going? Did you even make any resolutions? Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “run with perseverance, the race that is set before us.” I looked up the verse in a few different translations and discovered “perseverance” can also be translated as “endurance,” “patience” or … “cheerful endurance”. Great; now, I not only have to persevere, I have to do so cheerfully and patiently.
What if I don’t like the race set before me? “Race” is used in this context as any conflict or anxiety which requires effort to overcome. But, what if I’d rather have a different race, maybe one that looks a little easier? I’d rather choose a resolution I want to persevere toward rather than have it laid out for me.
OK, maybe I’m overthinking this. After all, most of us just say, “I’m going to lose ten pounds.” But right now, our world is such a mess and our lives seem to be turned upside down. We need strong resolutions which will help us to cope and maybe even make life around us a bit better.
It’s overwhelming. I often feel there is nothing I could possibly do to make a difference. I’d rather run away. But God doesn’t require huge resolutions; only ones toward which we persevere.
I love this picture about the woman who started running at age 100. How many people must have told her that it was impossible, impractical, of no use? Yet she is doing it. Maybe it seems like a little thing. But, what an inspiration she must be to others. Her cheerful persistence in running her race must give encouragement to others to be strong, courageous, and to persist.
I remember when the Rheumatic Arthritis, as yet undiagnosed, began to tear my body apart and I was always in pain and wanted to give up. I watched a woman painfully struggle every day to cross the pool deck to get into the deep end so she could swim. Once in the water she turned into a creature of grace and beauty. I’m sure she never knew that her determination and perseverance was a huge factor in me spending the next 12 years as a corrective exercise specialist helping others.
It isn’t necessarily what we do, it’s that we feel called to do it and that we persevere toward it, that matters. God will use whatever resolution we are called toward as a tool for good.
Resolutions require patient perseverance. It doesn’t matter how long it takes us to cross the finish line. It only matters that we do get there. Set a goal. Go for it.