By Pastor Brandon Newton
Over 8,500 runners completed the Twin Cities Marathon this past weekend. I am in awe of their perseverance. I much prefer shorter runs and anything farther than five kilometers has my body gasping for air and my mind giving up. On October 11th, my sister will run the Chicago marathon.
My sister is an inspiration. She recently took up the challenge to run the marathon and is, by no means, a distance runner. I say this lovingly, remembering that the last marathon she ran was around ten years ago. However, she set a goal to run and has worked hard in training. I will also mention that in addition to her rigorous training she works far more hours a week than she gets credit for and dashes her two active sons to activities. I’m proud of her beyond words and wish I could be there to see her cross the finish line.
Since I can’t be there to cheer her on, here is a poem about perseverance that I believe might apply to whatever race you are running in your own life:
When things go wrong as they
When the road you’re trudging
Seems all uphill;
When funds are low and debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must,
But don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us
And many a failure turns about when
They might have won
Had they stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the
Pace seems slow.
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the cloud of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when
You’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worst
You must not quit.
Pastor Brandon Newton is executive pastor at Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota.