I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11 KJV
When I first joined the US Army, I had a female 1SG whom didn’t stand much taller than my 5’1 stature (which that in and of itself was motivating to me). On run days, she was the loudest in the bunch. She loved making us do hill repeats on the most impossible hills after a 4-mile run on a brisk Monday morning. And all the while, she’d yell, I WILL NEVER QUIT!
I Will Never Quit!
I’ll be honest. I loved this and I hated this. I will never quit, along with I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil 4:13 KJV) became my internal mantra not just when running, but when attempting to accomplish any seemingly impossible feat. I learned from my sister to say it with my chest.
When we start a marathon, race, climbing a mountain, starting any project – we start with a host of others. In my own experience, I have found that as time passes by and we near the finish line, draw closer to the deadline, everyone that started is no longer with us. Some have dropped out for one reason or another. Some have simply given up. It may just take others longer to finish the race/ task. Maybe instead of running, they are now jogging, walking, crawling, but they’re still progressing. Maybe they’ve stopped. Whatever the case, I’ve learned, for myself, that even if I must crawl, I will never quit! I must finish the race.
During my time in the US Army, I think I must have grown accustomed to running and not stopping even if I puked at the finish line. Momentum. Even if you needed to slowdown, they taught us, don’t stop running. It will be that much more difficult to start running again and that much easier to walk. So much truth to that. My last APFT before leaving the Army, I ran my 2-mile the fastest I had ever run in my life. There was no stopping. I only slowed my pace and sprinted the last quarter of a mile across the finish line. I ran a 13:48. A big accomplishment for me. My average 2-mile lingered around the 16-17 minute marker.
Our journey with Christ is like this. We have to make up our minds at some point: I will never quit! And run our race. Though we may slow our pace at times, we can’t stop, we can’t turn back. We must make it not just to, but over the finish line.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 1 Corinthians 9:24 KJV
*Original photo by Kaybee05