Recently, my teenage son – Flash – asked me to participate in a 5K race with him. I used to run for miles and miles and sprint 5Ks. Today, I aggressively jog.

I know what he was saying: “Dad, will you drive me to the race so I can speed past you, and then be eating doughnuts in the truck when you finally finish?” So, of course, I agreed.

A quarter of the way through, my knee was bugging me. Then the other. Gotta keep going. There was a lovely spot where it would have been nice to sit and rest, perhaps read for a bit. Can’t stop. There were all these other people trudging along, too. One fellow had mentioned before the race it was his first time. A nearby lady’s t-shirt proclaimed she was a cancer survivor. How could I stop?

Discouragement, like cancer, spreads; it’s malignancy infecting everything it touches.

I was reminded of the words of Paul in Hebrews 12, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

The most important word there isn’t run – it’s perseverance.

We’re called to persevere, to keep going. That’s even more true in the fight for liberty in 2019 than in my recent 5K. It’s easy to be discouraged by the faithless and feckless politicians for whom we have spent time, energy, money, and sweat. It’s easy to be pained by their unending capacity to capitulate against us.

It’s ok to slow down, to change up the pace, to even walk a few steps. But it’s not OK to give up. It’s not acceptable to stop. We must persevere. We must keep going, keep pursuing, never stopping. Not now, not ever.

The fate of the Republic rests on the perseverance of patriots. As Patrick Henry once proclaimed, “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” This American experiment in self-governance ends when the people give up.

A 5K ends after, well, five kilometers. The course of self-governance is never complete. To secure liberty and its blessings we must keep running, keep fighting, keep persevering.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."