'It's a marathon, not a sprint'.
Have you ever heard someone say that?
Listen to what the bible says about the race that each one of us is in.
'Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us *run with perseverance* the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.'
This COVID season is definitely turning out to be something of a marathon.
I have never run a full marathon, but I *have* run a several half-marathons. I learned very quickly that I needed lots of self-discipline to run a race successfully. This was expressed through lots of training in advance and raw determination on the day. Several times during these races I was tempted to stop and have a 'little rest' under a shady tree; but instead of stopping I resolved in my heart to keep going, picturing myself crossing that finish line.
As followers of Jesus, how do we run our life *with perseverance* in such a way that we finish strong and receive the crown of glory the Lord has promised? (1 Peter 5:4)
When you read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, you get the impression that Paul understands the sacrifice and determination that is required in this race of life with Jesus. He makes a clear comparison to an elite athlete (which sadly I am not!).