I turned out for cross country my sophomore year of high school. I came back to my senses and played football my junior and senior years. Cross country was brutal. There was no ball to throw, no one to tackle or stop. You had one job; run faster than other guys in a long, long race that made your lungs ache and your feet hurt. Cross country is a sport where daily training is a must; and everyday the training was different only in that you would run at different places. If I was incredibly fast and built for long distance running, I would have endured the sport much better than I did, but unfortunately, I had neither qualification. I usually finished way back in the race. One thing I did learn from that particular season though; regardless of the pain and fatigue and being in near last place; press on and finish the race.

The apostle Paul says to the church in Philippi; press on. Forget what lies behind and press on to the prize, the goal, which is the upward call of God in Jesus Christ. It’s tempting to quit, especially when things aren’t going your way, in fact, following Jesus in some ways has meant that life got more difficult. He asks you to give money that it seems you don’t have to give. He asks you to forgive someone you don’t want to forgive, He asks you to love people that drive you nuts. He tells you to take up your cross and follow Him. He asks you to share your faith and to tell others the great things God has done for you. It’s tempting to not do those things. It’s very tempting to quit once you get started because your lungs ache and your feet hurt. Finish the race. He is not asking you to be better at those things than others; He is asking you to finish your race and cross the finish line.

Press on.