You may be tired or you may be weary.
You may feel like you cannot continue to put one foot in front of another.
The truth be told, this occurs more often than you would like to admit.
You are running a proverbial marathon with no end in sight.
Much like the “song which never ends”, you drone on in a daily existence with its Groundhog Day perceptions and are grateful for the pillow which will cradle your head on any given night.
As you acknowledge another day being under your belt, tomorrow looms around the corner as you mentally go through the eventual paces it will bring long before the light of dawn sneaks over the horizon.
All of us have been there at one time or another, some longer than others.
I am there now.
I cannot seem to escape the cycle of “day in-day out” with my mental playlist set on “Repeat”.
It’s been over a month since I last wrote.
For the record I do not like being inconsistent and I most assuredly do not like the long intervals in between.
I am forcing myself to sit at my laptop now so as to allow whatever expression may surface come to the top.
It is therapeutic for me and I pray a benefit to you as connecting with you in this manner is something I “get” to do versus something I “have to do”.
A few weeks ago several of my cycling buddies reconnected as we pedaled the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
Some of us went the entire sixty-four mile distance and also completed the return trip the next day during our mid-May ride in the cold rain, amidst snow flurries, and near freezing temperatures.
Some of us (yours truly) did large portions of the trail, but fell short of completing the entire ride.
Given this was the first extended ride I did in over two years, I was pleased with my thirty-six and thirty-four mile efforts.
The presence of mileposts became a welcome mental friend allowing me to measure my progress in short but predictable increments.
Dictionary.com defines a milepost in a couple of ways.
First, “it is a series of posts set up to mark distance by miles”. Deep and profound, isn’t it?
I like the second definition better – “a notable point or significant event in the progress or development of something”.
As I pedaled my way up and down the scenic trail surrounded by the Pine Creek River gorge, I refused to think of the sixty-four mile potential journey.
I embraced the small-bite sized notion of making it to the next milepost, one at a time.
It allowed me to stay in the present instead of contemplating the future or rehashing the past.
I was able to ask myself the question, “What is my task right now?”
It helped me keep my focus on doing what I set out to do, which was to have some fun while keeping my feet moving in an up and down circular pedaling motion.
Getting back to your proverbial or literal marathon, I want to emphatically encourage you.
Yes, you can make it to the next milepost however it translates for you.
In her small but powerful little book, Postworthy – Words to Encourage & Inspire by Wendy K. Walters, she states:
“Progress is sometimes by great leaps and bounds and it feels good! Sometimes it comes inch by steadfast inch. Staying committed to the process, working hard, and keeping your eye on the prize is a sure recipe for a win.”
Running a marathon or finishing a long-distance bike ride are not done in an instant. They are done one step or pedal revolution at a time – “inch by steadfast inch” putting one foot in front of the other and repeating the process.
If you tire on your journey it is OK to rest or take a break.
If you fall short of your original goal, don’t be so hard on yourself. Look at what you did accomplish versus what you did not accomplish.
I do not know what you may be experiencing along the way on your journey.
Only you do.
That’s not entirely true as God also sees each step in the journey, especially the difficult and painful steps.
You know the steps, the ones where you want to cash it all in and give up.
His encouragement to you is this:
“…I focus on this one thing…forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3: 13-14 NLT
Yes, you can make it to the next milepost!
Don’t give up.
Keep moving forward on purpose and with intention and you will see the finish line.
Photos Courtesy of Bruce R. Cross and Jeff Schans