Let us run with endurance the race marked out for us.
I tell this to my friend sitting across the table from me. “We can do all the flashy things that people tell us are required,” I say. “We can fill up our calendars until we’re exhausted. We can be loud and out front all the time. But I’m convinced the people who live and work that way are sprinters. They’ll move on and at the end of their lives they’ll say, ‘One time I wrote a book’ or ‘One time I did this cool thing.’ And that will be enough. They’re going for speed—not distance.”
This is not a criticism; sprinting has a time and place. I sprinted to get my master’s degree. To finish my counseling internship. To launch a web site. During a whirlwind season of speaking. But I have come to understand that while sprinting is doable, it is not sustainable.
So if you plan to do something not for a while but for as long as you can because you love it, feel called to it, and the touch of heaven is on it, then sprinting is not the solution. Instead, live and work like you’re going the distance. This means adopting a different pace. It means showing up over and over. It means letting people pass you. It means refusing to give in to the fear that you should always be doing more and instead continuing to faithfully, unglamorously do what matters most.
Professionally and personally, for me, this means I just want to love God and people well for a long time. When I first said this out loud, tears came to my eyes. Because it felt like coming home. I’m built more for slow and steady. I realized this only after years of frustration and exhaustion.
“Let us run with endurance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). That one word—endurance—says to me that life is not all sprinting. This makes no sense in our instant world. It’s upside down in the time of social media updates. It seems less sexy and exciting than the fast and the fancy. But it’s reassuring too, isn’t it? To know we don’t have to push so hard. We don’t have to go big or go home. We can just be obedient and leave the results to God.
I hope sometimes we get to go fast. To experience moments with the wind in our hair, the hearts in our chests pumping wildly, and the ground a blur beneath our feet. But I’m asking Jesus that we also get to go far. To make it around all the bends in the road. To watch the leaves turn from green to amber gold. To have like-hearted companions with us. To kick up our tennis shoes like they’ve grown wings and just take the next step, the next step, all the way.
Let’s keep running our race at our pace. We’re doing better than we know.
See you at the finish.
P.S. This post in an excerpt from Holley’s soon-to-be-released book Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely. To make sure you don’t miss any news about the book (Holley will be announcing something incredibly fun next week!), you can subscribe to her emails by clicking here.