After several busy weeks filled with end-of-summer travel, my husband and I hit the track yesterday for our first jog in a while—and it was hard!
I’ve been a runner for about twenty years now. Those two decades have seen me train for long-distances races, jog slowly with a double stroller, break PR’s, and nurse numerous injuries. My running has changed with seasons of life and parenting. However, among the few consistencies in my plodding is this: it’s always hard to get started again after a break!
We’re feeling this truth at home these days. In addition to the unexpected onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which found schools all over the world shutting down during the spring, our family spent last fall on sabbatical in the Netherlands. Our kids were only in their school building for a couple of months last year! Routine feels like a distant memory, and our weekday schedule, which once worked like a well-oiled machine, now feels a bit rusty and slow to start.
The same could be said for my running! As I hauled myself around the track yesterday, I cycled through familiar feelings of self-doubt: Maybe I’m really not a runner. Maybe I’ll never run like I used to. Maybe this is just too hard. Maybe I should quit. Thankfully, I had a few well-rehearsed responses in mind to fight the temptation, and I kept going. I know that the end goal is worth the effort; perseverance will have its reward.
As my children re-engage in their learning community this school year, my guess is they’ll have similar struggles with self-doubt: Maybe I’m not ready. Maybe I’m not really good at this. Maybe I won’t enjoy school with all of the COVID-19 prevention measures. Maybe it’s just too hard. Maybe I should quit. My hope is that they’ll find the encouragement—from Scripture, from their parents, and from their school community—to press on and pursue their goals with passion and hard work. The end goal is worth the effort; perseverance will have its reward!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)