Challenge: What Keeps You Going
FMF prompt — “Challenge”
Recently, we had the word “Start’” as an FMF prompt.
When I wrote about that, it carried the idea that we need to just start. Whatever it is that you are to do — the thing that you have been saying “I should…” about for x many years — don’t put it off another day.
Today’s prompt is “Challenge,” and I feel like it is so appropriate. Once we have started, and the “icing” has worn off whatever it was we started, what keeps us motivated to keep going?
It is the challenge!
I believe that challenge is multifaceted, even as the word “challenge” has many variations in meaning.
Once we have started, we often need to prove to ourselves that we can continue. That is a form of challenge.
Sometimes it turns into competition, either with yesterday’s record or with someone else’s record. Our decision to start was great, but it is the test of faithfulness and stick-to-itiveness that is the challenge.
As I walked this morning, my first thought was to walk farther than last time. Halfway through, I felt as though the Lord was saying to me it is not always about going further.
It is more about faithfulness.
Wow, that certainly sounded like a God word to me. He is the Faithful One, which incidentally happens to be one of my favorite attributes of God.
And it is so true that, when we have tried and failed, the litmus test of success is whether we will get up and try again.
What is that quote?
A quitter is not someone who falls, but one who does not get back up.
Sometimes it is easy to lose heart when you are trying, but you’re eating dirt again for the umpteenth time.
There are many success stories of people who have failed and failed again, but they continued to get up and keep trying! It didn’t look promising for success of any kind when, finally, they had a breakthrough.
Hmm, that reminds me of a scripture.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13–15, NIV)
We are to run the race (of life), keeping our eyes on the prize.
I love how that begins — forgetting what is behind. Forget the shortcomings, the failures, the sins, the opinions of other — even possibly keeping count of how many times one has tried.
What is the prize?
I think we can safely say it is the finish line. Exactly what that looks like may be a bit different for each of us. Our destiny and calls may be similar, but not the same.
I was discussing this with a friend recently, and we were extrapolating the reasons for keeping our eyes on the prize. We came up with a few things I think are important.
- Keeping our eyes on the prize helps us not to look around and be distracted by what is happening or what people may be saying. And it helps us not look back to be discouraged by the past.
- It keeps us encouraged that we are getting nearer the prize.
- It keeps our eyes up so that we can remain focused.
- It also helps us to look ahead and see the pitfalls that may lie ahead. If we were watching our feet, we would run headlong into them.
- Focusing on the prize also helps us to keep the focus off our abilities or lack thereof, and off of the aches and pains.
Maybe this still seems too big, too much, or too unattainable for you right now. I know that feeling.
We can do it one day at a time.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Electricity wasn’t invented overnight. It took pressing through, faithfully getting up each new day, and pressing forward.
That is our challenge today, and every day.