I'm glad the Bible compares the Christian life not to only running a race, but also to walking a walk.
Isaiah 40:31 says, "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
The Book of Genesis tells us about a man named Enoch, who walked with God for three hundred years. Enoch teaches us the importance of pacing ourselves in the spiritual race.
I bring this up because there are people who have a yo-yo relationship with God. Either they are fully backslidden, or they are passionate to the point of being obnoxious. They haven't learned to pace themselves.
I learned the importance of this one day on a 25-mile bike ride with some friends. I had a lot of energy, so I would pedal ahead of the pack. But then I would run out of steam and have to pull back. I would get another burst of energy and pedal ahead of everyone else. Then they would catch up and pass me.
Once we reached our destination and were on our way back, one of the guys I had been cycling with had to actually push me, because I had no strength left.
That is not the way to do it. The objective is to get there and back.
The same is true in the spiritual race. The objective is not to just run fast. It is to run long. Finish. That is the objective.
If you want to grow up spiritually, then you need to pace yourself in this race of life—because you are in it for the long haul.