Friday, November 18, 2011

Run For It!

Run For It!

I’ve recently contracted a bug: the running/workout bug. Isn’t it exciting to realize you are capable of doing something you never thought you could? How exhilarating to press on and push forward, then look back and see just how far you’ve come!  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no marathon runner. It would actually be more accurate to call myself a jogger rather than a runner. However, my accomplishment of being able push myself for thirty minutes is hardly a small one in my eyes. Yes, there are those moments when I start looking at fitness giants tackling four hour marathons or even triathlons and my thirty minutes quickly morph into something hardly worth getting excited about. Aside from these occasional moments of comparison and discouragement, my running experience has been such a blessing.  And I am learning a few things about myself in the process.

1. I can only go as far as I push myself.  I will consistently lose momentum at the one mile mark if I don’t push myself to go further.  Once I push harder, forcing myself beyond that mile, then I begin building endurance, get stronger, and will go further the next time.

2. I am discovering parts of my body that do not like to cooperate. My somewhat smaller, weaker leg will burn and scream in protest, many times convincing my brain and the rest of my body that unless we stop now we shall surely die. Or my lungs will ache, unable to suck in adequate oxygen, alarming my brain of some imagined danger. However, these parts of my body are just that, a small part of a larger body, and they must not be allowed to decide that I will not reach my full potential.

3. Small goals lead to success! Large goals can result in death. I can tell myself to run to the next stop sign and then feel great accomplishment when I reach that stop sign, or even go a little further. However if my goal is not the next stop sign, but the next five stop signs, and I don’t make that goal, I am setting myself up for discouragement, failure, and a lack of desire to get out there tomorrow and set another goal.

As a follower of Christ I can take these small lessons in daily running and apply them to my daily walk: 1. I can choose to stay where I’m comfortable and never reach my full potential in the gifts God has given me, or I can take a risk, ask God to use me, and make myself more available to Him. This makes my faith and walk stronger each day. 2. I have an obligation to my Lord and His people as a part of the body of Christ. I can choose to actively fill that role using the gifts God has placed in me (such as writing something small and sharing it daily), or I can hold myself and the body as a whole back by complaining, grumbling, or not trusting what God is doing when the road is difficult and sometimes painful. 3. Rather than having unrealistic expectations, I can set small goals for myself and then walk in them.  Rather than decide to read the whole bible in a year, I can tell myself to read for 5 minutes every day for a week.  Now that is something I can do! I can likewise support others in their “small” successes, encouraging them to go just a little further each day in this walk with Jesus.  I pray that this blog is one way I can accomplish that!

Comments, opposing views, additional insight?  Please do share!  I am having a blast sharing with you and I truly hope you feel free to do the same!

At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
~Hebrews 12:11-13 (The Message)

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