When I run ten miles I have a lot of time to think. A LOT of time. (I do NOT run ten miles fast. I do NOT run anywhere fast.) Thinking is a very good thing for me to do while I am running because it takes my mind off my aching knees, my plodding feet, and the fact that the dog can almost walk faster than I am running. As I was thinking and running, I realized that to run 10 miles, one has to run 9 first.
Profound, I know.
There is no way to run the 10th mile without running the previous nine. A person cannot borrow, steal, or buy the nine miles that precede the tenth; those preceding nine miles must be run. The power of ten comes only after the investment of nine.
Often, when running a ten mile course, I am tempted to stop and walk at the ninth mile. My body is tired, my legs are heavy, my feet drag a bit; walking would be nice. And then I remember the goal. I want the power of ten. At the tempted-to-walk point, I have paid nine miles worth of time, energy, focus, sweat, and pain. To stop would be to waste those nine miles. Unwilling to trash nine miles’ effort I continue running. I become strong enough to run 10 miles by running nine and persevering.
Ten mile achievements do not come when we stop at the ninth mile. The only way to realize 10 mile blessings is to capitalize on 9 mile efforts. There are life and love parallels to this physical principle.
Writing a “10” paper requires the equivalent of nine miles worth of rough drafts, edits, and re-writes. To neglect the final, painful read-through is to squander the previously invested hours.
Building a house or business is 10 mile task. Spending the “tenth” hour to guarantee the cabinet drawers close smoothly or making the “tenth” phone call soliciting customers brings dividends that capitalize tenfold on the nine foundational hours previously invested.
Developing relationships of trust with our associates—colleagues, neighbors, Primary children, teens, visiting teaching sisters—also requires ten mile effort. Who knows what blessings, opportunities to help, chances to change lives and to bring people to Christ we miss when we stop at the ninth cold shoulder, the ninth unanswered door, or the ninth insolent attitude?
The principle is eternal. By running the foundational “nine miles” and persevering, we will be strong enough to make it to our course’s end where our Savior waits with outstretched arms to welcome us home. Talk about a perfect “10”!!
Sure love you!