It was a beautiful morning; the enthusiasm was catching. The air was crisp, the sight was astounding. The rising sun brought a glorious glow on every one’s face. The clashing waves added rhythm to our feet. It was a day of our long awaited athletic meet. Finally, our road race began. It was fun running with my friends, the champions, who obviously were ahead of me right from the start. It was great passing familiar faces, challenging them to catch up. During the race, I had to briefly pause and wait for the medics to assist a sick friend. As I continued my race, I realised none of my friends were anywhere in sight.

I usually run with friends, being alone felt lonely and the journey extra-long. As the race progressed, I felt tiredness setting in and then came the moment when I hit the wall. I just wanted to quit, but soon there was a change in the tide, a bend in the road and as shortly as I took the turn, I was surprised to see a great crowd on either side of the road. As soon as they saw me, they cheered me. At this point, I wasn’t running, I was walking, more like dragging myself. They encouraged me and I heard them shout, “Come on, you can do it.” I shook my head and said, “I can’t.” I had given up, but they didn’t want to give up on me. They cheered and encouraged me even more. One person shouted out loud, “You are almost at the finish line, you can do it.” Suddenly I felt a surge of energy. I began to run even faster. The ground below my feel felt as if it was moving by itself. I made it, I crossed the finish line and was soon hugged by my friends who had made it before me and I waited for those that remained behind. I came 15th in the race, not bad, but I know I wouldn’t have made it without those people who did not give up on me.

In life, we start with great enthusiasm, surrounded by people who love us, but as we journey through life, we come across some setbacks, an illness may be, or we end up being lonely or perhaps our energy is all spent. In those moments, we need encouragement from others and their support to go on, because on our own we can’t make it. Many times, in life, we may not encounter great crowds of people cheering us and propelling us forward on our way. However, we do have the encouraging word of God that builds our faith, heals our wounds, enables us with grace to move on and the strength to endure. Our Christian race is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. In life, we are not judged by how we start, but how we finish our race. Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).