1 Corinthians 1:8 — And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus (MSG).

There are four different types of people hiking on the trail of life. The first group we learned about is the trailheaders. They are still at the starting gate, yet to begin their journey. The second group is the loungers. They are those who are too comfortable, or too satisfied with a certain victory, to move forward in their journey. I want to talk about the third group today: the stalwarts.

When our family hiked down and up the trail at the Lower Yellowstone Falls, Heidi’s mom was a stalwart. After going down 600 feet and viewing the falls, I’m sure she would have preferred to set up a hammock and bask in the beauty. But she realized her journey wasn’t finished yet. She had to discipline herself to go back up the 600 feet.

Self-discipline is what separates a stalwart from a lounger. My mom-in-law stopped a couple of times on the way back to catch her breath, but she disciplined herself to keep going. Her journey was not over at the halfway point. Her body was likely screaming at her to stop, and I’m sure her mind was telling her how dumb of an idea the hike was, but she refused to be a lounger.

Many people purpose to get out of their comfort zones and press on after victories, but they give up and lounge somewhere on the way toward the trail end. Self-discipline is key to not giving up, and so is knowing that God is right alongside of you.

Stalwarts are steadfast. They are faithful and can be counted on. They are consistent and hold unswervingly to the call of God on their lives. They may not be the strongest, fastest, or most popular, but they are finishers. You can set your watch by and learn from them. Can the same be said of you?

Philippians 4:1You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God (MSG).

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