“Let us not give up. Let us be true to our covenants.”

art by Eva Timothy

I was mostly a short-distance runner in high school track. But since one of my events was the 1500m, I would occasionally run with the distance team.

My least favorite practices BY FAR were when the distance coach would have us run laps without telling us the number of laps we were going to run that day.

Sometimes it was 10 or so. 
Other times, it was closer to 20 laps.

I absolutely despised not knowing how many laps I was going to run.

I wanted to pace myself.
I wanted to have some kind of goal I was running towards.
I wanted to feel some sense of control.

But I was asked to just run.

I always felt so much more tired than I typically would running the exact same distance.

This week, I decided to reread the Parable of the Ten Virgins, since it was referred to in D&C 45.

And the thing I noticed this time was the overwhelming sense of fatigue felt by ALL the women. 
Foolish and wise alike.

The night was supposed to be a celebration— 
An exciting and joyful wedding feast. 
But instead it was just frustrating. 
The Bridegroom didn’t come on schedule.
Instead of a feast, it became a vigil. 
And every single one of the women fell asleep.

I can understand their fatigue.
I’ve felt that same kind of tiredness—the one that comes when there is no end in sight, on both physical and spiritual challenges.

But there was a good reason my coach had us run that distance-running drill.
A race like the 1500 can be more mentally difficult than physically difficult.
And if you are mentally weak on a race day, those 1500 meters can feel very, very long.
Our coach wanted us to be mentally resilient and ready for any difficulties.
He wanted us to know how to face the unknown and keep running. 

God wants to build that same resiliency in us.
And thankfully, in our run to God, we are never running alone.
We “have the Holy Spirit for [our] guide” (D&C 45:57)

As it says so beautifully in “Lead Kindly Light:”
“Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see/ The distant scene: one step enough for me.”

Sometimes, one step is truly enough.

Be prepared.
Face the unknown.
Keep running.

Written by Sarah Keenan

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