I think I've mentioned--about 86 times--that running is a good metaphor for life. And it is: Running has easy days and hard days. Life has easy days and hard days. Running has times that hurt. Life has times that hurt. Running has uphills, downhills, fast times, slow times, exuberant times, why-is-this-so-stinkin'-hard times, patches where you speed up with joy, patches where you slow to a walk. Days when it would be easier to stay in bed, races when it would be easier to quit. Days when the crowd is screaming for you to finish, and days when the crowd is screaming at you to "Get out of the road, idiot!".
Was the apostle Paul a runner? I'm going to go with "No" on this one, although I think it hardly matters. He understood the ways of the runner, that's certain. And more than that he understood the ways of someone who sees something better ahead, who lives for something outside of himself, whose path through life is different from her neighbours, and who knows the importance of finishing the race.
If you're reading this, then you haven't crossed the ultimate finish line yet. But you've certainly hit some intermediate finish lines: Perhaps you graduated. Or got married. Or raised children. Or earned a degree. Or got a new job, or a promotion, or a well-deserved retirement. But you know the funny thing about intermediate finish lines? They are also intermediate starting lines. So you finish and begin again.
Are you on an uphill? Your finish line is coming. Are you frustrated? Fix your eyes on the road ahead. Are you tired? It's okay to take a rest. Feeling great? Look around you; who of your fellow travelers might you encourage today?
Keep moving. Reach the next mile marker. Finish.