By Karen Pullano
To read from the beginning of the series click HERE
The Finish Line
As you well know by now, if you have been reading along with this series, I often limp across the finish line. I set a goal ahead of time and push myself to persevere and endure and although I always finish, it’s not always pretty. Lately though, I’ve been having a new experience. As I approach that last quarter mile, I don’t feel as though possible death is imminent. In fact, I feel pretty good and to prove it, I bump my speed up and sprint to the end! That looming finish line is just too tempting and it gives me a renewed burst of energy. All my discomforts are forgotten, knowing there will be time to catch my breath really soon, after I finish like a champ. I can hear the crowds already going wild!
In our trials and sufferings, it is important to focus on the goal, even as we are figuring out how to take the next step in front of us. Life here really is a series of deaths and resurrections as we live in this continuum of time and change. Crossing that finish line is like resurrection. For some, there will be an end to a suffering or trial right here on Earth; for others, there will be no true relief until Heaven. In either case, the finish line is divine Union with God, and our sufferings can bring us ever closer to that. Certainly, there is a time to just put one foot in front of the other in obedience, steady as she goes, and let the pain do a work in us. To quote my favorite line from Finding Nemo, in my best sing-song voice, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” We may not see it in the day-to-day struggle, but we are growing stronger and gaining endurance. We are learning our own strength. Then comes the time to pick our heads up, remember what we are about, and dig it out to the big finish with energy, strength, and joy. Resurrection awaits and all of Heaven is cheering wildly.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Cor 9:24-25)
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