The Sundays after Pentecost can seem to drag on and on at times. This is where we learn again that our faith journey is a marathon and not a sprint. Sure, we’ve heard that before and maybe even could say we know it. But what does it mean? The first thing it means is that we won’t get too far in our discipleship journey on enthusiasm alone. There will be times when we’ve hit a dry spell, or when we find ourselves in a desert. And as the examples in our chosen texts for the next four weeks show us, grumbling and fear will be ever around us and even within us at times. Enthusiasm wanes and emotions come and go. It takes discipline to sustain the pace as we walk our faith journey. It takes commitment and the will to keep putting one foot in front of another. This is not, however, a self-generated discipline, though the self is involved. But the other truth before us is that we are not alone as we continue along our discipleship path. First of all, there is the ever-present Spirit of God who sustains and enlivens us the more we seek God in our daily lives, as we proceed on the long haul of faith. God is with us. Secondly, there is a community of faith that encourages us, mentors us, learns with us and even from us at times. We are in relationship with the church in the long haul. Indeed, we might argue that the only way we can make it for the long haul is together. There’s a saying that sums it up: “if you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.” We are in community as we journey, especially for the long haul.