Last night, God told me to go jogging. Of course I was hesitant because I hadn’t gone running in a really long time. But I got up, put on my running shoes, and hit the road! I ended up jogging just about 4 miles, which for me is quite impressive! The less impressive part is how long it took me, so I’ll spare you those details.
For me, jogging is a mix of running and walking at intervals… run, walk, run, walk…. I quickly noticed that every time I turned a corner and found a great stretch of road lying before me, I would begin running, but way before I reached the end, I’d say, “Yeah… that’s enough,” and would slow back down to a walking pace.
After several instances of this, I realized something. I love beginning a new adventure. It’s always exciting when I see the path laid out before me and know that I can take it on! All of the emotion and determination wells up inside of me and I race forth with a great burst of action. …But I hardly ever persevere until the end.
This tendency extends to several areas of my life, not just running. Once, I decided I would take up leather crafting. I bought all of the supplies, did a bunch of research and set down to work. I enjoyed stamping designs into a wallet and bookmark, but after those two projects, I stopped altogether. I haven’t really picked it up since then. On another occasion, I began writing music. I bought a digital audio recorder and actually came up with a few good songs on my guitar, but decided I didn’t feel like pursuing this as a career option.
I have a history of beginning things when they are exciting, but not following through. As soon as something gets old—or tough—I drop it and turn back to what I know. But last night, jogging along the edge of campus, I realized that is not what Jesus did. He persevered until the very end, even unto death.
I’m sure the forty lashes from the whip got old as soon as they had begun. I’m sure the mocking and beatings from the soldiers were more than challenging. I’m sure every second upon that cross was unpleasant. Yet He followed through with the mission God gave Him. Jesus was in it to win it. He never once backed down. He could have leapt off the cross at any moment, and He knew that. But He let the world murder Him so that the world could know Him.
I want to be more like Jesus. I don’t want to waver between yes and no, for Christ did not waver between yes and no (2 Cor. 1:18-19 NLT). When God calls me to do something, I’ll pray for the motivation to fully persevere in that calling, even beyond the initial excitement. When things get challenging and confusing, I’ll fix my eyes on God and keep moving toward Him. When work feels boring or mundane, I’ll breathe in deeply of the Holy Spirit. It’s like drinking in the fresh oxygen that refuels me. Only with that fresh breath of air can I keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I know that God is worth every struggle. His purposes are worth pressing through any frustration. His people are worth my sweat and tears. Jesus never gave up, so neither will I. Let me run by my spirit, not by my head. I look forward to the fulfillment of His promises and the rest that comes through obedience. He will reward those who serve Him (Jn. 12:26).