Running a race without practice is detrimental not only to yourself, but to the team. I recall my decision to take track based on how I did in gym, which hindsight was not as good as I thought. It was a private school so no need to tryout. When the coach asked us who wanted to run the mile, I said I would, not knowing that it meant four times around the track.
By the time I figured it out it was too late to change my mind. There I stood at the starting line up against a student from another school. This was not practice. By the time I made the first lap around I was breathing hard and I felt my lungs were going to give out on me. The other students from the other teams had already finished the race. I was discouraged and as I started on my second lap fellow team members were rooting me on. All I could think about was how I just wanted to stop and rest. I lacked the training, practice, and perseverance to push through and finish the race. I decided to quit, because I figured what was the point if I was in last place.
Looking back, there was a point. I needed to persevere and continue, no matter how slow my pace was. If I had practiced and trained, I do believe I would have completed the race. My assumption was inaccurate and I based my decision to run the mile on a preconceived perspective. Had I inquired, I would not have volunteered to fun the mile or I would have trained for it.
While it was not a marathon, it required training. Whether a quarter mile, a half mile, a sprint, a mile and so on, it all required training, practice, and perseverance. Life is like that too in some ways. We train to become professionals or to work in a trade. We practice in our roles until we have mastered (not perfected), but are confident in our position. And we persevere even when it gets tough. And it will get tough and we will need help. So practice, train, persevere and use your team to help you.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…