I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed. (Philippians 3:14 VOICE)
Are you are goal-setter? Do you make those lists of all the things you need to accomplish in a day, complete with tiny check-boxes so you can mark them as complete as you get them done? Are you one of those planners, mapping out each phase of your journey for an upcoming trip, almost down to the places you will stop to take restroom breaks? I know the world needs people who will create a vision, map out a plan, and then get people moving in that direction, but honestly only one goal really matters - where it is and with whom we will spend our eternity!
Sprinters will tell you they are running at full-speed when they reach the point of the race where the sprint makes the race, but they cannot sustain that pace forever. They have trained repeatedly to do as well as they do, but eventually their body becomes fatigued by the constant demands placed upon it to sustain that level of activity. They don't sprint the entire race, but pour on the speed, increasing their kick and widening their stride, not right out of the starting block, but nearer the finish line. Why? They see their end goal and they know in order to win the race, they must finish the race!
They run for a prize - but also because the race provides some type of reward along the way. The end of the race, with the crossing of the finish line even a margin ahead of the other runner will be rewarded with a prize of some sort. Yet, as that runner passes milestones in the race - such as the one-quarter mark, then the half-way mark, then the one which tells them it is time to pour it on full-speed ahead - they determine their speed, endurance, and remaining capacity to make it the rest of the way. If they feel good about where they are at the quarter mark, they will continue their pace to the half-way point. If they see they didn't make the goal they had for that point, they might just pick up the pace in the next leg of the race.
For some of us, running the race means we have to push past a whole lot of resistance within our bodies, minds, and heart which just bogs us down. We don't really "feel" the sense of urgency to increase our pace, run with determination, or even to consider the end of the race. We are running lazily along the route laid out ahead of us, but not really with any intensity. It is either because we don't know how to push past the resistance, or our motivation for running the race has somehow "left us".
Resistance can be a good thing when we use it for our benefit. It increases capacity and helps us to expand our capabilities. At other times, it can over-tax us and leave us totally uninterested in taking another step forward. Resistance is simply the opposition afforded when one thing comes in contact with another. If I run into a wall with my shoulder, the wall is likely to resist the movement of my body. It may shake a little, but more than likely my shoulder will begin to announce to the rest of my body that it came upon something which opposed the effort it put forth to attempt to go through it!
If I run into the wall, feel the pain in my shoulder because of the resistance it faced, I will most likely adjust my course. I don't want the pain again - and I learned from the pain that not all resisting forces will be able to be moved by my effort. Sometimes the best course of action is to take a new course of action! At others, the resistance we feel actually builds strength - such as when a tackle on a football team works with those tackling dummies. He repeatedly pounds against them, moving them even ever so slightly. Why? He is building endurance and increasing capacity! It doesn't matter how much we run - it is that we have the capacity to finish the race and to do it with an all-out effort! Just sayin!