THE LONG GAME
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” - Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
When I was a senior in college, I walked into a pet shop to look at puppies. An hour later, I owned a dog. There is something indescribably joyful about puppies. There are actually services where you can rent puppies for a day.
But the thing about buying a puppy is that once you get one, you have a dog.
If you have ever bought a puppy before, you know that the second you bring him home, he needs to eat. He needs love and attention. And the next day, he will need those same elements of sustenance again. And ten years later, he will still be there, wagging his tail, and asking for food.
We live in a generation of expedentional entrepreneurialism and ample resources to start almost anything from scratch. But I love this scripture because it is encouraging us, beckoning us even, that as Christians it is not just about starting, but about the perseverance it takes to stay on course and finish well. To push past the “puppy” moments of life and see that following Jesus with our whole lives is about the long game. It is about the commitment and the sacrifice and the hard work. But that it is a race worth running. We are called by our great Author to write a story of the goodness of God with our lives. It is not the fireworks and the adrenaline rush and the puppies that we are called to; rather, we are called to push forward with perseverance and gusto.
We need to be committed to the hard work. To the reality that the mundane will probably require way more of our time than the highlights. That every day, we choose to put our hand to the things God has given us. And then the next day, we choose again. This is how we transform our lives, our homes, our city and the world. By showing up in our own assignment, in our own field, every day.
The beautiful thing about this reality that is expounded to us in this scripture is that we do not have to do it on our own. We have mentors in heaven and a God who supplies us with everything we need to accomplish mighty conquests on this side of heaven.
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