Paul called the Christian life a race. But it’s not a short race. It’s a marathon. It’s a long haul.
And it’s not a sprint. It’s more like a plod. Or a hike. Paul could have said I have hiked the good hike, I’ve slogged the good slog. I have plodded the good plod.
Our problem is we want things now. We want it in a 4-hour work week. We don’t like having to wait 2 weeks for our new iPad to be shipped. We want to get everything at the drive through. “Can I have a double character with a side of patience and a super-sized endurance – like, NOW!”
But God is looking for plodders. He’s not looking for comets who make a big flash in the sky then burn out.
God is looking for faithfulness. Most of us will never do anything sensational. But we can be faithful. We can plod. Don’t be discouraged if most of your life seems to be plodding.
Parenting is a form of plodding. Day after day, little by little, faithfully serving our kids. Faithfully telling them about Jesus. Faithfully correcting and loving in the midst of chaos. Changing hundreds of diapers and saying no thousands of times and praising your children over and over. Saying thousands of prayers for your children. Working through lots of stuff with them when they’re teens. Long talks at night when they’re in college. Plodding.
The Christian life is plodding. It’s slow growth. It’s changing little by little. Sometimes it’s three steps forward and two steps back. Sometimes change is undetectable for days or weeks or months at a time. Why? Because it takes time to build relationships. It takes time grow in your marriage. Christ doesn’t form his character in us like making a glass of instant tea. He doesn’t produce the fruit of the Spirit overnight. Developing spiritual gifts is a slow process.
The plodding life is trusting God day by day. It’s asking him to fulfill his promises over and over again. It’s thanking God him in good times and bad. It takes faith to plod. To believe in God today when you can’t see an answer, then do it all over again tomorrow. Then the next day. And next week. And next month. To keep sowing seeds and watering them and waiting then watering waiting weeding watching.
But plodding eventually bears fruit. Faithful in little leads to faithful in much. Insignificant seeds sprout and grow and produce a harvest. Children get saved eventually. You see answers to prayer. New people venture through the front doors of your church. People get baptized. You form friendships. You use your gifts. Saints are strengthened. And God is glorified through your faithful plodding.
So don’t be discouraged if you feel like you’re plodding along. Eventually you’ll hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful plodder. Enter into the joy of your master!”