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Lessons From a Marathon – Part 3

In my previous posts here and here, I shared about my marathon journey and a few of the lessons I learned along the way. Today I share with you two final helpful lessons if you are in the midst of a tiring season of life.

Today’s Challenge – Tomorrow’s Story
On several of my long distance runs, I entertained thoughts of quitting the whole thing. As I ran the upside of a hill, I would say to myself, “I’ll never be able to run 26 miles. That is just ridiculous.” And then I would say, “OK Bruce, so when you are seventy years old, do you want to tell your grandchildren that you almost ran a marathon?” Heck no. So I would keep running.
One day your experience will be a story you will tell. What is it you want to say? How did this life changing moment change you – stronger or beaten? Will it be a story of defeat or a story of victory? That story for your grandchildren is yours to decide today.
And they will need your story too. One day they will be facing an enormous challenge. It could be their health, marriage or career. And if you have connected with their heart, they will reach out to you and ask, “What should I do? I am ready to just quit.” What a moment it will be for you! “Well son, let me tell about the time I ran a marathon. There were several times I almost quit . . . “ And you will be able to feed into his life powerful truths that will propel him forward to an incredible future.

Strength of GOD
At one time, a marathon just seemed impossible. When I was running 3-5 mile runs, 26 miles just seemed like an eternity. The first time I tried a 10 mile run, I remember feeling discouraged because I walked the last 2 miles. Then six months later, I ran the 10 miles with no problem and ran that distance many more times after that. I was able to go further than I thought. So can you.
You think you have endured a lot and you have. But I believe the strength inside of you is so much greater than you realized. GOD created you with resilience. And if you are a Christ Follower, then you know that the strength of GOD Himself is available to you. He dwells in you.
Depend on Him through prayer, scripture and worship. Keep looking to Him. Remember the words of Philippians 4:19 – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

So keep on running. Each day get up and move forward. While it is difficult and you would rather do something else, you can’t. This race is the one you have been given. Embrace the hardship as a challenge. On the other side, you will be glad you did. The person you become through this shaping process will be remarkable. The world will be a better place for it. All of us will be grateful that you endured and won the battle. Your victory will be a source of encouragement to you one day. And most likely someone else will find the courage to keep running one day because of you.

What lessons have you learned from those long and tiring seasons of life? Share them in the comments. Help others who are running their race.

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