“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

I just finished my 3rd half-marathon, and I was pleased with my finish and time. I am slowly learning how to run long distances more efficiently. Run with friends. Keep the pace. Break the race up into small manageable chunks. Take in and enjoy the scenery. The Toledo Metro Parks are one of the best kept secrets in Northwest Ohio.

I also pray when I run. Often, I pray the Jesus Prayer. “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!” I repeat the prayer over and over with the rhythm of my breathing. When St. Paul writes about praying without ceasing, the Jesus prayer is the prayer that I think about.

A life of prayer is not a sprint; it is a marathon. It is a lifelong pursuit of growing in the grace of God. One plea at a time. One prayer at a time. One step at a time. St. Paul would affirm that slow and steady wins the race. At the end of his life, St. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:6-7, “As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith“. A life of prayer is not a sprint; it is a marathon.

I believe that Seth Godin would agree with St. Paul. I am a fan of Seth Godin. I subscribe to his weekly podcast Akimbo, and also receive his daily e-mails. Seth has the gift of lifting up the importance of taking the “long view” and determinedly pursuing great things one small step at a time.

This morning’s e-mail is entitled, “After you raise your hand“.

  • After you raise your hand…
  • Show up.
  • Show up and keep showing up.
  • Show up with at least [the] enthusiasm you had when you first raised your hand to volunteer.
  • The volunteering part is easy. Making promises is a fun way to get someone’s attention.
  • Keeping those promises is often unsung, but that’s how you build something.

* Check out Seth Godin’s Akimbo page ( https://www.akimbo.me/) to learn about his podcasts and his blog site ( http://sethgodin.typepad.com/) to sign up for his e-mails.