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For the joy

Perseverance is our theme for the 2022/2023 school year. Over the past few years, we have noticed that our students struggle when things get hard, and they just want to give up. Perseverance is an incredibly important trait for our students to develop because life is hard, and the Christian life is particularly difficult as we are called to live in a way that differs from the culture around us.

When I was in high school, I ran cross country which meant that I ran races that were three point two miles long. When I was in my thirties, I started running half marathons- 13.1 miles. After running a couple of half marathons, my friend and I thought it would be a good idea to run a full marathon- 26.2 miles. We signed up for the inaugural York County Rail Trail Marathon. Then, our training began, and we spent weeks building up to a training run of 20 miles about two weeks prior to the race.

My friend did great in the marathon and has gone on to run over 50 marathons since then. I, on the other hand, got to about mile 15 and just wanted the whole thing t be over, and I still had 11.2 miles to go! At that moment, I could have given up. But the reality is that I didn't really want to quit. I wanted to get to the finish line and be able to say that I had completed a full marathon.

When I think of the word perseverance, I think of running a marathon. In the Bible, in the book of Hebrews, we read that "For the joy set before Him, {Jesus} endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). The cross was Jesus's marathon. The Bible tells us that Jesus was beaten and then forced to carry the cross up a hill to the place where He would be crucified. At one point, He was so weak that someone else had to step in and help carry the cross for Him, but He still kept moving forward. Why? This verse tells us that it was because He could see the finish line. And what was that finish line? It was a relationship with each one of us. Jesus persevered because He wanted us to have the opportunity to have a relationship with Him and He knew that the only way that could happen was if He died on the cross for our sins.

The next verse says, "Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Life is not easy. There will be many times when we will need to persevere, and we can persevere because Jesus persevered. When we are finding it difficult to keep trying, th

is verse tells us to remember Jesus and the example that He set for us, a model of perseverance.

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