The Apostle Paul’s counsel to the Hebrews has great application for us today. He urged them, “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:1–2).
So many times in life, we forget to "run with patience". We are so busy trying to go here and there as fast as we can, that we sometimes don't realize it is not the speed that is important, it is the race itself. It is the time we have between the start and the finish that matter most of all. We get so focused on the finish line itself, that we forget to enjoy the race. To welcome those we meet. To race beside our friends and family. We forget to truly enjoy the being together. The love, laughter and even tears that bring us together in these wonderful moments. Often, in the race, we find that the very best things are those which come from the waiting and the wanting and the dreaming. We find our happily ever afters in the reaching. The good is so much more appreciated and enjoyed when we are not sure that we will find it.
One of my favorite quotes of all comes from Neal A. Maxwell. In a meeting years ago, He said,
"The goal is not only to win the race,
But to run it in honor and dignity,
In testimony and worthiness."
For me, I have ceased to believe that we must cross the finish line, in first place and completely out of breath. Instead, I have come to understand that the important event is simply that we cross it being our best selves. Knowing that we are worthy for the other side. We all have questions. We all have concerns. At one time or another in our lives, we are even afraid. But the goal has never been to win all by ourselves. The goal has always been to make it home with as many of our loved ones as it is possible to bring. In hiking, we slow our steps to the steps of the hiker at the back. I think in life it would help us so much more to do the same. Often, the one at the back has so much to give if we will only take the time to slow down and listen.