Hidden Nuggets Series #13 – “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1
The words found in the above verse are fitting considering the incredible task I face. At 8:00 AM tomorrow, amidst the coolness of the morning and the likelihood of rain, I will attempt to complete the Baltimore Marathon in 4 hours or less. I set this crazy goal back during the first weeks of January and the moment has finally arrived.
It’s about time because I hate waiting.
And when the gun sounds and the early stages of the race begin, I will again fight my ongoing battle with patience.
Race morning inevitably creates anticipation and excitement for me. I feel it building the closer I get to the start line. The months of training behind, it’s once again time to test how far I’ve come.
This adrenaline rush entices me to run quicker than advised during the early miles of a race. My pace resembles a participant in the Running of the Bulls. Fast and frantic, like I’m afraid they will move the finish line before I get there.
The obvious problem is that I forget I’m in a distance race, not a sprint. And my lack of patience to let the race rhythm come to me – to slowly unfold over the many miles – has cost me before. In my zeal to post a personal record, I end up using all my energy reserves, leaving nothing for later in the race.
My challenge with the early race tempo mirrors my sometimes-impatient view of life. I want to be financially free now, on a beach in Maui. How about some huge blog success now? All my conflicts resolved now. Career and family goals accomplished now. Car-get-out-of-my-way-so-I-can-drive-faster now!
There are times during a run (and in life) to push it, where speed and immediacy are of the essence. I believe God gets that. We have a close friend in our church congregation who has miraculously survived a motorcycle accident. But we weren’t sure in those early hours whether or not he was going to make it. We needed prayers answered quickly. Those moments were all about immediacy, about getting stability and healing right now.
However, most activities over the course of our life require that we wait them out – that we patiently and diligently push though whatever barriers block our path. They are achieved over the long haul, with persistence and grit. Even goals we would consider short-term don’t happen overnight.
I do have a self-imposed time goal for this marathon. So I won’t be able to move at a beach-stroll-with-the-wife-at-sunset pace. But I will have to show a bit more discipline with my pace early on. I’d much rather save the energy to supply a good leg kick in the final miles than to slog home, dragging my feet across the finish line.
What life issue makes you the most impatient? What is your method for handling the “I want it now” syndrome?
Next Post: That Moment When You Question Your Goals
Here is a Luke1428 post that was mentioned in a recent blog carnival:
Thank you to the carnival host for including my post.