Fainthearted

Keep Going When It Is Overload, And You Want To Quit

I didn’t hear from Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, for two weeks. He called yesterday to say he was preoccupied with his visiting, fourteen year-old-grandson, from Edmonton. He was helping Ed out at his farm. The first week, Chase, the grandson was pretty enthusiastic about all the machinery and being able to drive a tractor under Ed’s supervision. As the second week continued under Ed’s thorough training and instruction, Chase became tired of being a farmer in training. It became a challenge for Ed also until he realized that he could not make a farmer out of a city kid in two weeks. He had tried to teach his grandson everything possible about farming, but it was an overload for his grandson that left him fainthearted about being at the farm.

Like Ed’s grandson, we may start an endeavor enthusiastically, but not continue excitedly about it until we finish. When we plant a garden in the spring, we are excited about the prospects of future growth and produce. By late August, or early September we may have grown tired of weeds, and watering and all things gardening. It is hard to persevere at gardening if you experience the challenge of hand, knee or back pain. Some years it is hard to garden in Saskatchewan because the mosquitoes are so thick and hungry that you almost need a blood transfusion after they attack you when you are gardening. What we seek to do, can turn out to involve so many challenges and problems that we may grow fainthearted, and consider quitting the task temporarily or permanently.

Athletes that compete at the Olympics are noted for their willingness to endure training until they have competed in their sport. This year’s Summer Olympics remind us that athletes push themselves in spite of weariness and minor injures. They go far beyond being proficient at their sport.  Their goal is to become better than all other competitors in the world. It takes months and years to perfect their skills. Some athletes do get weary at the stress of performing before crowds who never miss mistakes and inferior performances. Only a medal winner is considered good enough for the spectators, and the thrill of victory may be sweet, but fleeting for the medal winners.

The Christian life is not an Olympic event, but it has been compared participating in a marathon race. The Christian is running the long distance of his or her life toward heaven. When one considers such individuals from the Bible as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David, Samuel, etc. we see people who endured challenges but refused to stop trusting in God, and in the ultimate victory of heaven after their death. No marathon runner can win without crossing the finish line. He or she runs focused on the finish line.

As Christians, it is easy to get tripped up by sin and lose our sight of the finish line of heaven. Sin can easily have people running around in circles and even backward. Thankfully Christians have a coach who has completed his marathon run of life and death. He died but is alive from the dead to help us keep on track as we run toward heaven. Need his coaching?

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Raymond Maher
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