Ecclesiastes 7:8 – Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Many people love to start new things, but sticking with something to the end does not enjoy the same enthusiasm. For example, runners are often separated into two basic groups: long distance runners and sprinters. Both kinds require very different skills. Even the spectators of these events are different, because they are appreciated for different reasons.
In light of the verse above, it is interesting to note that sprinters are often full of pride. Being called “the fastest man in the world” can go to your head. In contrast the same attention and inflated titles are not given to marathon runners. The same ideas apply to our daily lives.
New beginnings and small victories often engender elation. I suppose like children, our attention span is short, and we like immediate results. In so doing we risk mistaking a battle for the war. Remember that the Apostle Paul described our struggle with sin as a war versus a battle saying, “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Romans 7:21-23).
Endurance then is the name of the game. Our Brother James wrote, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12). God willing, the race of our lives will be an endurance race. It will not involve huge crowds or world wide fame. We run for the glory of God and not man including ourselves.
So drink plenty of water and start stretching. We have a long way to go.