See It Through to the End –
Sometimes one of the hardest things to do is to stick to the task until you succeed.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Paul’s reference to an incorruptible crown is that of heaven, but the example he uses is a picture of athletes striving to be the best that they can be. He says, “So run, that ye may obtain.” If you want your dream that is exactly what you must do. Like winning a race, so much of succeeding is wrapped up in endurance and striving.
In a race, you can quit right before the finish line, but the entire race is then lost. All the work and training you’ve put in doesn’t matter if you don’t cross the finish line. Whatever time, energy, and money you’ve invested won’t matter either if you quit short or miss the mark.
In life, unlike in a race, you sometimes don’t really know how far that finish line is in front of you. It may come up all of a sudden or it may be years. Many folks don’t see their dreams all the way to fruition because they give up just a little too soon. Sometimes, when all seems lost, the victory is just around the corner.
Consider the following story.
Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
2 Kings 4:1-7
The woman’s dream or goal was that the creditor would not take her 2 sons. When her day looked the darkest, she didn’t accept defeat. Instead, she went seeking Elisha. Through Elisha, God worked a miracle for her.
The challenge is to stick to your dreams even when things look grim or impossible. Hold on to them to the very end. When is the end? The end is when either you accomplish the dream, or you have a new dream. In some cases, the end is when it is no longer possible to achieve the dream. In the last example, if the creditor had taken her sons, her dream would have changed to somehow freeing them. Take the first steps toward achieving your dream by writing it down today.
Your Big Challenge
Take a look at your dream. Break it down into achievable steps, and set dates for completion. List any opposition you anticipate. Consider ways to overcome those obstacles, and don’t let frustrations stand in your way. Remember, like a race, endurance is key. As Paul says, “So run, that ye may obtain.” As you apply this to your faith, apply it to your dreams as well.
Be content and prepared to work on your dream for a long time. Some dreams take years to achieve. Stay motivated by celebrating small successes along the way!