I am training for a marathon.
I began training for a marathon 7 years ago and I got hurt bad half-way through the training. I tried again the following year, and was so scared I’d get hurt again, I took it really easy.
I didn’t get hurt, but then my marathon didn’t go well either. I didn’t run again for about a year, I was so discouraged with my performance.
Running and I have had a mixed relationship. I began running because I could. Being legally blind prevented me from excelling at other sports, whereas running required little sight and plenty of energy. I got that.
But I resented running because I really wanted to play baseball and other sports where I could see. I didn’t do running because I wanted to, I kind of just had to if I wanted to do any sport.
I hated running. I ran track and cross country in college and did ok. Not great, but then again, I hated running, so I got the results I should have gotten.
Except once, I ran our 5-mile race in 29:32, which is awesome and I did not deserve that. I still maintain they measured the course wrong.
However, over the years I have gotten the running bug from time to time. Now, I just kind of feel like I need to do it.
I wouldn’t say I love running, but I will say I enjoy it more now than ever before.
It’s easy to talk about running. Easy to plan on running. Easy to dream about doing well in races. But you need to run to make that happen.
The Gospel of Running goes like this: The runner shall live by running. If you don’t run, you won’t finish the race.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ says: The just shall live by faith. Faith is the constant. It’s easy to talk about faith. It’s easy to plan on doing faithful things. Easy to imagine standing before Jesus and getting your rewards.
What’s hard is day by day living by faith. There is a reason Paul uses running as a metaphor for Christian living.
Just as it’s hard to day by day go run, it’s hard to actually do faith day by day.
I ran today. It was hard. I didn’t want to really. 20 degrees. Windy. One inch of snow on the ground on ice-covered roads, with more snow coming. Ran seven miles. Here’s the proof:
Did my flesh really want to go do that? Nope. Even while I was running, I kept thinking, “You can walk now. You ran three miles already, just walk now.” But I didn’t.
It’s a battle and a fight. It’s not easy. If it were, everyone would do it. There are really no tangible results of running today. In other words, if I had taken the day off, I doubt I’d feel any worse tomorrow. Odds are I’d feel better!
But I know, come marathon day, I’ll be glad I did my running today.
Faith isn’t a one-time, now you’re in so coast, deal. Faith is living. Faith is life. Continue in the faith. Run all the way through to the end.