Bad starts don’t always determine how you finish. I’ve had a few rough starts in my life, and I’m sure you have too. Take for instance the one and only marathon I ran back in my college days as a student at Baylor University. When I lined up at the starting line of this momentous marathon race, I somehow didn’t realize there would be thousands of other people joining me. I guess I assumed there were not too many people on this earth who would choose to run in a 26.2 mile race. Well, let me just tell you there were so many people that I couldn’t even see the flags marking the starting line. I began the race way, way, way back in the pack, and it took what seemed like an hour just to get beyond those first flags. Of course I couldn’t even think about stopping to tie my shoe or taking a look behind me. One false move and I would be trampled by thousands of Nikes.
Eventually the crowd began to thin out, and I worked into a pretty confident stride until I began to face new challenges like blisters in places I never imagined a person could have blisters and my socks feeling like sandbags around my feet. Four hours and thirty-two minutes later I crossed the finish line with a smile of victory and a hearty sense of accomplishment (and relief). I made it! I can’t begin to describe the feeling of excitement I experienced in knowing I set a goal and achieved it. The point is, I didn’t have such a glorious start to the race, but through persistence and perseverance there was a grand and sweet outcome. At dinner that night we celebrated my triumph with family and friends, and of course I fell asleep in the middle of my mashed potatoes.
No doubt it is easy for any of us to become discouraged when we have rough spots in our lives, especially if they happen at the beginning of our journey. Maybe your marriage started off on a negative note, or your career got off on the wrong path or your childhood years were a disaster. It could be that you simply had a bad start to your day and you felt defeated even before you got out the door. The good news is, no matter how you start your journey, the beginning doesn’t necessarily determine the outcome. There are tremendous possibilities up ahead. Sometimes we must press through the challenges and keep our mind on the goal.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Forgetting what is behind me, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God is calling me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” God has a wonderful purpose for you here in this world. The marathon may get tough at times, but don’t give up. Press on. God is not finished, and He has a plan that is bigger than your troubles. What may seem like a mess, could simply be the beginning of a beautiful masterpiece.
Remember, God is the God of hope, and He brings redemption to even the worst of situations. This week let your mind be filled with hope and possibilities as you face both victories and hurdles. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
This is an excerpt from A Woman’s Passionate Pursuit of God. Check out Karol’s DVD on sale for $5 only during the month of March!