In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
Endurance is a beautiful word for an athlete, and for a Christian. God has not called us to conquer the world in five days.
SPIRIDION LOUIS was a Greek shepherd who became the winner of the first marathon of modern times (Athens, 1896). The Prince of Greece in person accompanied him as he entered the Olympic stadium, and his victory allowed him to obtain free clothing - and, they say - free shaving throughout the rest of his life.
Our life is a marathon, a really long-distance race, although there may be very few days that are here. If we wish to finish our race well, we must have endurance. It is not about running well at the beginning, or at a particular time of life, but rather it is about keeping going forwards and having strength at all times.
"Although all leave you, I will follow you..." How many times we are like Peter! We want to run the whole distance in the first few minutes. We think we are more capable than anyone else. Others have tried and given up on the way, but we can do it! So our Christian life gets confused with a disorderly "activism", that only costs us our health, physically and spiritually. We run too much and then we have to abandon it, because we are not able to continue at that pace.
How many times we agree to take on things that we are not ready for! It seems as if the hardest thing for us is to say "no" and wait. We have not learned to have the right rhythm in our race and reach the end. This happens to us as it happened to Peter. We first go around "cutting ears off" right and left because we have not understood fully the will of God, and later... we find ourselves abandoning and ashamed of God, all because of our own mistakes!
It would have been much easier to be a little less "brave" and to recognise our own weakness. It would have been easier to notice that the Christian life has to be lived to the end. If we run the first 100 metres only to give up later and be defeated... then we will have to start all over again.
Endurance is a beautiful word for an athlete, and for a Christian. God has not called us to conquer the world in five days. God expects us to do our daily work in an intimate relationship with him... and each day has enough worries of its own.