Concrete Disciple – Finish The Race

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)

I remember the first time I really ran a race. It wasn’t very long, but I remember the feeling. You start out and there is this rush with so many other runners by you. That burst of energy, your legs feel great. And then at some point it hits you – your legs start to feel a little like jelly, and as you keep going it feels like you CAN’T keep going. In my head, I began to doubt – can I go any farther? Should I give up? What if my legs give out? What if…? Your body is telling you I’m tired. Your mind is telling you it is impossible – just stop now.

Sometimes in life – whether in ministry or just day to day – we hit these moments. We begin our journey of investing in the lives of middle school students and it is great! You are with a team of people running alongside you – everyone is all in! Everything is all good! But then you hit that moment. An event doesn’t go the way you planned. You have a really bad small group experience. You work and work but can’t get any students to sign up for summer camp. Kids only want to eat ice cream and won’t listen to their leader. Insert other reason here: _________________

I think we sometimes forget, moreso for those my age and younger, that there are going to be these seasons, these moments where things look really grim. Where no matter how hard you trained, prepared, discussed, things tank. You feel exhausted, worn out, unqualified, insufficient, worthless – maybe you don’t even know why. Too often in these moments people give up. They quit. Why should I keep going – it doesn’t make sense to keep going – everything around me says stop! My body said that in the race. My legs communicated they couldn’t go farther, my stomach felt nauseated, my breath was short – everything told me to stop – it was the logical thing to do. And yet – I pressed forward.

I had those moments in ministry too – it seemed like no matter what students didn’t get it. Parents were unhappy. Efforts into the community were met with disdain. I believed the lie that things were better elsewhere – read blogs and viewed social media of someone else doing it better, bigger, with more success.

But the reality is I am running my own race. God has entrusted me where I am to be faithful with what I have. God’s call is to love Him, love others, while making disciples. He entrusts to some a little and to some a lot – and asks us to be faithful with what we have. Don’t stop running the race because you think someone else has a better race for you to run. Keep pressing forward in Christ, and He will carry you through the moments of weakness, insecurity, stumbling, and weariness. Don’t. Ever. Stop. Running.

If we live constantly focused on Christ – continuing where we are – God will use us in miraculous ways. Because when we are faithful to run the course Christ has set before us it also allows our roots to grow deep and relationships to flourish and God will do great things – whether in the life of one or the life of many.

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