boat_wheelChristopher Columbus became a fixture in history for discovering a new world. Our children learn this at very early ages, and we even have an annual date on the calendar to remind us of this. What few people realize is the tedious and rather mundane journey that Columbus took that led him to such a pinnacle moment of world history. When reading Columbus’ diary, there are many, many days in which Columbus simply wrote these words, “Today we sailed on.” Nothing more, nothing less.

You might think, “How boring!” Can a day be more simply or mundanely described? “Today we sailed on.” Imagine day after day after day—hundreds of days of simply “sailing on.” And yet, it was that simple repetition of doing the same thing day after day that ultimately led him to discovering “the new world!”

Hebrews 12:1 challenges us to “run with patience the race that is set before us.” When I studied these words this past week, I thought of Columbus’ diary. And as I planned my new year, I couldn’t help but reflect that God wants us to “run with patience.” He desires for us to set a healthy, steady pace for the race to which we are called.

Do you ever get impatient? Do you ever want all of your goals to happen immediately? Reality teaches us that the best things accomplished for God in this life are usually done with great patience and steady, continual effort. Thankfully, I don’t have to sprint into my new year, having to accomplish it all during the month of January. Rather, God desires for me to “run with patience”—to be willing to continue running steadfastly, refusing to quit, and gradually gaining ground day by day.

Whether you apply this principle to your own spiritual growth or to your leadership in ministry—running with patience will be a big part of your success for Christ in 2009. Spiritual growth and spiritual progress happens one little bit at a time as we “sail on” day-by-day.

Determine to run your race at God’s pace. Be balanced in purpose and keep your eyes fixed on the goal of Jesus Christ. Don’t get frustrated that you’re not running fast enough or far enough. Stay encouraged that you are running with patience. A thousand days may pass in which you would write in your journal, “Today I sailed on”—but all those days will ultimately add up to a life well lived for God’s glory!

So, sail on my friend and may God give you a great new year of running with patience!

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