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How to Finish a Marathon

“Nothing great was ever done without much enduring.”

St. Catherine of Siena


I’ve run a few marathons but didn’t cross the finish line in all of them. We all face marathons in life; not all of God’s assignments are sprints, some require us to dig deep within ourselves and endure. We tackle marathons differently than sprints. Sprints require an all-out effort, giving everything, for a short duration. Whereas, when running a marathon, you need to pace yourself because you’re in it for the long haul. Below are some of the things I’ve learned when faced with a marathon.


In any journey when you become weary, you can pause, stop, and take a break. Respites and temporary delays are allowed. These are times to catch your breath and lower your heart rate so you can then start running again. While tackling the marathon of book writing, I had seasons of intensity and then periods when the book wasn’t even on my radar.


Take it one step at a time; don’t look at the whole picture. Meet one small objective and then another, and another, and eventually you’ll cross the finish line. I am grateful the Lord didn’t let me know that writing Restoring Your Heart to Deepen Intimacy would take fifteen years to complete, or I may have been tempted to give up right as I started the race. A marathon is accomplished little by little.


Be sure to invite others to join you on the long journey. They’ll provide encouragement, wisdom, and companionship, which are a necessity when you hit a wall of discouragement. Family and friends prayed for me, experienced writers gave me helpful tips, my life coach and friends held me accountable, and the Lord, as well as others, kept cheering me on. Writing can be lonely, but knowing I wasn’t alone in this marathon ministered to my heart to keep on going. And at the end of your race when you’ve crossed the finish line, those same journey fellows will be there to celebrate with you and give God praise.


Lastly, to finish your marathon, keep your gaze on Jesus. “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a).


“We conquer – not in any brilliant fashion – we conquer by continuing.”

George Matheson


Relevant Reflections:

  1. What “marathon” are you currently enduring?

  2. Which of the truths above will help you cross your finish line?


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