Contrast this to my runs at home where there are LOTS of hills and little shade, and I have to run at about 2 in the afternoon when the sun is the hottest. That's hard! And not too enjoyable either! I often walk a bit when running at home. Sometimes I don't want to go at all, but force myself. Other times I just say, "Hang it," and don't do it at all. I hate hills! I hate them when I'm running. I hate them when I'm riding my bike. Yuck!
When I do "have" to go up a hill I'll focus on the sidewalk a few yards in front of me or, if I'm close to the top, I'll look there, just to keep me going. As much as I hate them, truth-be-told, it's the hills more than the flat running that builds my endurance. It's the hills at home that make running a race so much easier.
As in running, so with life.
If I could wave a wand, I would make my life a nice flat running course, shady and 55 degrees...or would I? I sure would want to. But it's enduring the hills of life that produces the greatest results. Some days I just say "hang it" and walk away from those hills in life, but some days I force myself to go over them. Inevitably, I'm always glad I did. Those hills also make me appreciate the smooth, easy days so much more!
And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:1-2