Perseverance: Sticking With the Task
I love streaks! I love it when I am able to do something meaningful, and then do it again and again. Take my church; it’s been the same one for six decades, my marriage, job and home, for 5 decades. All these things I love dearly. I keep doing them.
I’m also pretty good at documenting my streaks; I ran my first mile on November 2, 1977, and I ran mile 48,756 today and yes, I’ve kept up with every single, sweaty, smelly mile!I ran my first marathon in September 1978, in Chicago. Running 26 miles, for a long distance runner, is a very special occurrence. Most runners are satisfied to run perhaps one, or maybe a few and then convert to shorter distance events, something easier on the mind and body. Not me. I wanted more than a few and I now have 59 in the bank; but it took me 37 years to do it.
After my first marathon, I began thinking about running the famed Boston Marathon, the oldest and most prestigious of all foot races. Boston, because of its standing and tradition, is highly sought after and therefore, to hold the number of runners to a manageable number, requires one to achieve a certain qualifying time in a previous marathon. I decided to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and I set about the task, and I did it….and it only took me twelve years! After I ran that glorious event in Boston in 1991, I decided I wanted to qualify once again, and that journey only took me….another twelve years! That brings to mind Charles Spurgeon’s quote “by perseverance the snail reached the ark”.
I did ‘reach the ark’ in Boston. Then I continued to push. A few months ago, on April 21, 2014, I finished my thirteenth Boston Marathon, with a ‘streak’ of twelve consecutive Boston Marathons. What is the one overriding quality evident in all this pavement-pounding? Perseverance; sticking with the task, staying true to the dream, pushing, overcoming, muddling through, fighting, kicking, refusing to quit, surviving. You just do it, not because it’s pretty, you do it because you told yourself you were going to do it, and, by golly, you do it!
If you want to achieve your goal, you must be willing to work for it; to push, to keep your eye on the prize. God will help you; but He won’t make you get out of bed and lace up the Nikes; He’s there for you, but He won’t do it for you. That’s your assignment from Him.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, 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.”
Kenneth Williams has lived in Corinth, MS, all his life. He attended Corinth public schools and graduated from Ole Miss. He married Nancy Ann Kincade, his college girlfriend, and sweetheart of Sigma Chi, in 1963. They have four children, 13 grandchildren and a foster grandson.He has been associated with family companies, Coca-Cola Bottling Works, and Refreshments, Inc, for his entire career, and now serves as president of both.
He has served on Boards of organizations and agencies on the local, state and national levels. He has been Chairman of the Mississippi State Chamber of Commerce, and was selected to the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame. He served on the Corporate Board of Trustmark National Bank for 15 years.