It’s a newer venture for me as I am training for the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon (for hospice) on September 22nd. Eight years ago when I began this running thing, I never imagined I would ever in a million years be able to run 13.1 miles straight–let alone in a race. But after today, I see the destination and it’s just a short mile away.
Running seems to be almost entirely a mental sport.
If you think you should be out of breath, you will be.
If you think you can’t keep going, you won’t.
If you think, the pain is too bad, you’ll give up.
If you think the distance is overwhelming, it is.
But the great part is, the reverse is true as well.
If want to keep going, you will.
If you decide to settle in for the long haul, you’ll do it.
If you don’t think about how many miles are ahead of you, you won’t get psyched out.
Running is a beautiful metaphor for the Christian faith. All of those mental games cross over into the faith arena as well, especially for these long runs. If you prepare your mind, your heart and your body for a long journey, you will most certainly overcome the obstacles–be they physical or spiritual–that are thrown in your way. In those moments when you recognize the throbbing knees, the tired heart, the sore muscles, the labored breathing, you might be tempted to give up and collapse, but if you embrace the pain as part of the journey you might even come to consider them joy, because you know this testing develops perseverance, which leads to maturity and completion. Victory in crossing the finish line.
And most importantly, if you run the race marked out for you NOT ON YOUR OWN but with Christ alongside you, the journey is much more peaceful.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who, for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.