Leadership, Marathons and Telephone Poles

“It is always too soon to quit.”

V. Raymond Edman

“The glorious fight that God gave me I have fought, the course that I was set I have finished, and have kept the faith.”   

2 Timothy 4.7 Phillips


Terry Fox, having lost his leg to cancer, embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research. It was called the Marathon of Hope. With an artificial right leg, his shuffle-and hop running style took him about twenty four miles per day. Many runners train for months and make a big deal out of running in a single marathon, but Terry ran close to a marathon each day — on an artificial leg!

He ran for 143 days and covered 3339 miles from St. John’s,Newfoundland to Thunder Bay, Ontario. At that point, cancer was discovered in his lungs and Fox was forced to abandon his run. He died a few months later.

When Terry was asked how he kept going out there as exhaustion set in and he had thousands of miles still ahead of him, he replied, “I just keep running to the next telephone pole.”

We often equate success in the Christian realm the same way we do in business: bigger, faster, more profitable. But successful Christian leadership is not measured by a wall of credentials or a list of impressive accomplishments. It’s not measured by bigger budgets or multiple services. In God’s economy, He values things a little differently. Success in the eyes of God is faithfulness and obedience.

Leadership in the Christian arena is not a dash, but a life-long marathon. It’s not how you start that is important; it’s how you finish! Despite the frustrations, adversities or difficulties you may be facing, maintain your focus, discipline and keep your eyes on the next telephone pole!

Stay the Course,

Dr. Greg Morris


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