Long distance swimmers are a strange bunch. My daughter Emily and I have both been swimming long distances for charity. We may not be classified as traditional athletes, but we hang in there in the open water and go the distance. This year she is planning again to swim the Hudson for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It is an amazing gift, a huge challenge and they spend all spring and summer training. But it teaches endurance and builds community like little else. They have each others' backs and make sure each one finishes with cheers and supporting family and friends.
Jesus is instructing his disciples about what they will face. Life as a faithful disciple will never be easy, though some days will be better than others. He reminds them to move away from political maneuvering and cling to God's strength and their faith. God will provide what is needed for the challenges ahead, no matter how overwhelming they might be. Our work is to endure, and to be strength and support when others waiver and fall. We are invited to trust fully in God's love for us, and hang on, enduring to the end.
Today I ask God to renew my strength and endurance. May we all settle our minds to endurance and not to political gain. May we be dedicated to building communities of support and strength, lifting up those who are stumbling and troubled. May we trust God completely as we hold each other closely.