Sunday, April 17, 2011


I love to run. I started running about three and a half years ago, and though prior to that time, it was not something I really enjoyed, I quickly fell in love with it. I loved the way it made me feel. I loved the fresh air. I loved running along trails. I loved the time it gave me to just think, to pray, to clear my head. Running has become a great source of stress relief for me.

I love the way a new pair of running shoes feel. I love breaking them in and making them mine. I love the blood and sweat involved. There aren't usually tears, but it has happened on occasion.
I love racing! I love competition. I love pushing myself to do something. Running has taught me a lot about pushing myself. I am always amazed about what my body can do if I just push. I love the feeling of achieving something, of accomplishing something great.
I am not sure I ever expected to be a competitive runner. And, truthfully, I don't know that I would call myself a competitive runner. But, I miss the competition. I miss the challenge. I have still been running over the last few months, but I was just telling a friend the other day how much I miss training towards a goal, how much I miss racing. Running on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day while staring out a window is just not the same. I miss being challenged and pushed. I miss knowing that someone is timing me, that someone is chasing me, and that I am chasing someone. I am so thankful for a friend who encourages me to occasionally rise early, before the traffic chaos ensues, and run with her. A few weeks ago we ran about 8 miles, and it felt so good!!!! I cannot even tell you what it did for my soul...
And, speaking of my soul, there is another race to be run. Sometimes I think there are a lot of parallels between the races--the competitive running race and the race of life. There are so many things to be done, so many people to be loved, so much world to change. And, it is easy to get lazy, easy to get on the treadmill and run 30 minutes, get off and go about your day. Some days I feel like that is exactly what I am doing. I am going through the motions in my own little corner of the world but not running the race to win, not looking ahead and pushing myself to pass the next obstacle. Instead, I think about my overworked lungs and tired muscles. I think about how nice it would feel to just stop, and really, who is going to really notice or care if I stop and walk?
But, I realize that it does matter. I notice such a difference in me, both physically and mentally, when I take a break from running, when I get lazy. And, the same is true when I get lazy in running the race for eternity. There isn't time to be lazy, and it is time to lace up the shoes and ramp up the speed. There is a race to be won...

"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling me." ~ Philippians 3:13-14

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