Our boys love to play Wii Mario Cart. I watch our sons racing the system and racing against each other. I occasionally try to join in the race. Nearly every time I have tried I have lost to my seven-year old son. It is a feeling that my five-year old son knows well.
On one weekend, while my seven-year old was out at a soccer game and our younger girls were napping, my five-year old son and I took advantage of our chance to practice without the champion in the race. When one of us would come in last, instead of getting frustrated we would say to each other, “Better try that one again.” Then we would do just that. Race the race we failed all over again, determined to improve. It was a precious and fun time. At one point I actually came in first place, which encouraged me to keep practicing. Isn’t it funny how the small victories give us the hope of being more victorious?
I remember a time when my husband and I were on vacation together. Day after day we would play golf together. Overall, I was lousy at it. But there was “that one hole.” It was a Par 3. I took a swing at it, a beautiful swing, and that ball landed right on the green. Every swing I took following that shot was mediocre at best. Though my overall score was awful, I would still play golf again. The memory of that one beautiful shot remains and motivates me to try again.
What is hope? It is belief for something that you cannot see. What is persistence? It is a willingness to keep trying for that thing you hope for regardless of your current situation or previous outcomes. What is faith? Faith is persistent hope. We race, play, work, and pray all because we have hope. We keep racing, playing, working, and praying because we have persistence. In the end, it is not so much about the final score. All the victories, small and large, will matter but what matters most is whether or not we kept the faith along the way.
“I have fought the good fight, I have
finished the race, I have kept
the faith.” – 2 Timothy: 4:7