I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have 3 more classes to take to finish my master’s – 15 hours to go out of the required 36. Trust me, I’m counting down every one. (By the way, I should graduate May 2015 with a Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing.)
When our youngest, Drew, was in high school he ran on the cross-country team. I remember him saying once that his coach told the team that the last third or so of a race feels like you’ve got a bear on your back. Muscles are on fire, legs feeling like Jell-o, like you’re carrying a dead weight animal on your back. I didn’t understand the analogy so much then, but now I think I get it. I’m in that last stretch with the finish line in view and that bear is running along beside me.
Speaking of bears, one that comes to mind who wouldn’t let a hard task pull him down is the late, great Paul “Bear” Bryant, coach of my alma mater’s team, the Crimson Tide. (Mind you, ol’ Bear was a mumbler but someone managed to chronicle some of his wisdom on perseverance and winning.)
He once said, “There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and guts between dreams and success.”
“It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
“The first time you quit, it’s hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don’t even have to think about it.”
Another Paul had a few things to say about perseverance, too. Once he wrote, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3: 13-14)
These days are long and the assignments are laborious. Often it takes me a whole day to figure out just what the professor is wanting for one essay or one journal. Then it takes another day to write it and still another to edit it before I feel ready to turn it in. And that’s just one week in one class!
Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and say, “I quit.” But I’m too close now. I’m seeing the finish line. I’ve gotta keep moving.
So all I can say now is, “Okay, jump on Smoky and let’s go for a ride.”
(Praise God and RTR.)