February 24, 2010

On Keeping On

2010 1506 7 capTEVE CHAVEZ, OUR MANAGING EDITOR EXTRAORDINAIRE, IS ALSO A marathon runner. One thing any runner will tell you—just ask—is that you must keep on running, regardless of circumstances. Perseverance pays off, whether you’re seeking to complete a race or finish an important project.

 The same is true of the Christian life. We have a course set before us, to be run with patience and persistence, regardless of our pace. Some, like Steve, sprint along at a fast clip; others may
merely walk, or even crawl, forward.
Paul understood this intimately. Many know his declaration in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” They also know the next verse: “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Paul had his race—his course, as the Greek word dromos puts it—and we have ours. He knew this long before his declaration to Timothy, saying some 11 years earlier to the believers in Miletus: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).
In an hour when global tragedies, illnesses, financial collapse, and a host of worries beset us, our task is to keep on keeping on. As Ellen White once put it: “A rich, a glorious reward is before us; it is the prize for which we run, and if we persevere with courage we shall surely obtain it” (In Heavenly Places, p. 352).

Mark A. Kellner is news editor for the Adventist Review. This article was published February 25, 2010.