Marathon Mentality

Hanging Out

It usually happens at least a few times a week if not a few times a day. Meep will suddenly jump off the couch and burst into a run, tearing through the house at breakneck speeds. She often takes laps through the house, or sometimes it is suicide run in a straight line. Sometimes the other cats join in. It lasts for several minutes and then stops as suddenly as it started, followed by a thorough bath and a series of naps in various locations throughout the house.

On other occasions, the three cats will combine forces, especially when uninvited guests enter the picture. Whether it is a mouse or just a bug, the three cats will take turns stalking their prey with patience and diligence. One night in particular I found all three surrounding my piano, each one covering an avenue of escape. I later found them in the same position around the refrigerator. The next morning their attack plan was proven effective when I found their prey, an unfortunate mouse, belly up in the middle of the floor. The cats were inordinately pleased with themselves. It had taken all night, but they had achieved their goal.

There are times in life that call for a sprint, a quick surge of adrenaline in an emergency situation, but for the most part, life is a marathon. It takes patience and pacing, like the cats hunting for their prey. Those two traits are rare in today’s society, where people are always in a hurry to reach their goals and get to the top any way they can.

Tortoise and HareMost people are familiar with the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. The hare was a sprinter who was always bounding off and then getting distracted. The tortoise moved at a steady pace, keeping the goal in mind as he moved forward. He wasn’t distracted by what was going on in the world around him, especially not the hare. In the end, the tortoise won the race because his focus was on crossing the finish line to the best of his ability, not on what the hare was doing.

As Christians, life is mostly a marathon which is more in keeping with the attitude of the tortoise than the hare. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” The world is weighed down by doubts and fears, but Christians know the end of the story. We are victorious through the sacrifice of Christ, and we strive each day to follow in his footsteps as we run our race.

Life is a marathon; therefore, we need to train like a marathon runner. So, as the hares of the world go bouncing off in a million directions announcing the end of the world, keep moving forward toward the goal of becoming more like Christ, one step at a time. Because we know: “that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3b-5). We have hope because we know that Christ has gained the victory for us. If we keep our eyes on him who is our goal, the worries of the world will fade from view. Like the tortoise and the cats, we too will reach the goal if we run with patience the race before us.

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