MARATHON

Are you a marathon runner? Today’s London Marathon has been even more of a test than usual, as it’s taken place during an unseasonal heatwave.

Arsene Wenger is coming towards the finishing line of a challenging 22 year ‘marathon’ as manager of Arsenal. Her Majesty the Queen, now starting her 93rd year, has also faced many challenges in her ‘marathon’ run of a long reign.

Life itself, for each of us, is a marathon that involves short sprints, long plods, uphill grind, downhill dithers and slithers, wearying stumbles and tumbles and some scintillating strolls. These are accompanied by a mixture of physical pain, mental anguish, tears, smiles and joy.

Taking part in a marathon (and no, I’ve never done one) requires, initially, choice. Shall I? Shan’t I? For the marathon of life, choice wasn’t our shout! How we run life’s marathon is dependent on personality and circumstances. Whether thinking of life’s marathon or the London Marathon, perseverance and endurance are required. It’s also helpful, as I imagine Mr Wenger and Her Majesty might concur, to have the backing of your personal cheerleaders – family, friends and supporters – and of your fellow-runners.

St Paul likened the Christian faith to running a marathon: “I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith.” In Hebrews it says, “Let us run with determination the race that lies before us.” Let us. Together we can do it.

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