Running The Race That Is Set Before Me
Have you ever woken up at 5am and wondered just why you lay there staring up at the dark ceiling, absolutely no light coming in through the window, and then rolled out of bed to tug on your running shoes and dress like you are in a Nike commercial? Because same.
My butt, knees, and thighs are so stiff and it's only been two hours since I ran the first 5 miles in nearly 4 weeks. Update: my cough is mostly gone! I can run again and am training for the races coming up in my race series that I talked about in my last blog post about the half marathon.Because of work and my inability to ever go to bed early (hello Youtube, it's been awhile since I binge watched Riverdale + Flash behind the scenes, no wait. That was last night until 12...) waking up early for these runs has been a struggle for sure.
I plan on running a few miles two or three mornings a week and then saving my long run for the every other Sunday that we have our races or sometime on Friday or Saturday morning before I start early work. I recently was looking up running help tips and came across these confessions of runners which really made me pause to think. I'm stealing this from my running buddy but something really struck me when we first walked up to our first 5k with the Road Race Series and saw the giant inflatable Finish Line archway. She told me that it reminded her of the verse where there are a cloud of witnesses surrounding us as we finish the Great Race that the Lord has set before us. Hebrews 12:1
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
She admitted to me that she loved these races because all of the runners just want to see everyone finish and do well. It's a competition to the faster runners but there are literally people standing at each corner cheering you on and encouraging one another. How much better of a world would we live in if everyone just stopped to take time out of their day to encourage one another and stop trying to compete with everyone? How much would we grow as Christians if we stopped condemning and began offering encouragement and helping others even if it slowed down our race? Wouldn't you want everyone to reach the Finish Line instead of seeing them leave and get discouraged because they compared themselves to those who were faster and "better"?
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
I run in the mornings in the quiet of the park and see all of God's creation. I heard another runner confess that whenever they ran, they felt the presence of God and it was like a quiet time of prayer. That struck me as beautiful since when we workout alone, we have time to think and reflect on what we've done all day and really focus on what God might be trying to tell us. There's something so peaceful about having your nervous energy burn out as you become more content and full as you reflect back on what God has said to you in your quiet time. Do everything to the glory of God applies to even this.