In my forthcoming book, Father to the Childless, I talk about how our faith is like a race. It requires perseverance and dedication.
It is so true. Equally true, as the fable goes, slow and steady wins the race. The tortoise won out against the rabbit because he remained focused and did not stop. It’s like that in life, as well as in endurance races. Though I have not been in marathons, I have run and biked in 5km and 10km races.
If I could turn now for a moment to the idea that accomplishing our goals requires the same intensity. Earlier this year, I wrote about New Year’s resolutions. If they are to be followed, one must have grit. Grace when we mess up, but also grit. Pure and simple.
Also, having a plan and carrying it out incrementally is fundamental when setting out to achieve a rather large goal, and so that you don’t get discouraged along the journey. For example, if someone is to lose a large amount of weight, or pay off debt, or study for a big examination, it is helpful to break down the objective into specific, measurable, relevant and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) steps.
Even talking about what you hope to accomplish amongst friends or in a small or support group, increases your chance of succeeding, because it builds confidence that the goal can be attained. This falls in line with the concept of Christian accountability. We are all liable to fall, and we all need to keep each other accountable as followers of Christ.