Running, to me, is fun. I know, I know…that’s weird to some people. I’m not a fast runner. I don’t run more than 4 miles at a time (yet), but I genuinely enjoy running. (Maybe its the endorphins?)
There is a challenge to running, too. Even though I run alone, I always challenge myself to go a little further, a little faster, add some incline, or lift some weights afterwards. It works for me.
And, I find that running helps me think. I find I can relate my spiritual life to running in many ways. For the most part, I run alone but I see the beauty in running with others. It creates community and offers a different type of challenge.
Spiritually, we often go alone, but there is great benefit in community. In fact, we need it. Community encourages us, pushes us forward, helps us overcome obstacles, walks beside us when we grow weary. That is a wonderful picture!
In my running life, I find that I get lazy. I have been known to take a whole week off (or 2 – what?!) from running. I just don’t “want” to run. I feel that laziness in my spiritual life at times also (which is why community is so vital!). Having others to hold us accountable is fantastic.
In running, I can overdo it. I can push myself too far, in my excitement to go farther, and end up drained. I can fail to eat properly, to get enough fluid, or I can push too long. On our spiritual journey, we can get so busy “running” (doing things) that we get depleted, too. We fail to replenish ourselves. Our endurance comes from Christ, from His word, from being fed. If we are replacing relationship with “busy-ness,” we get depleted and end up defeated.
I also run for the exercise and to stay healthy. Running the race God has set before us helps us stay fit and healthy for the Kingdom. If we are not running the race spiritually, keeping our eyes on Christ, we are probably straying from the path – on a walk in the woods, looking at the trees, eating cupcakes in the bushes…you get the point (just a little humor).
Anyway – keep running the race! You don’t have to be fast. We are all running at a different pace. Just focus on the trail God has laid before you. Keep running, friend! Join with others. Encourage one another. Push each other towards the finish.
“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfected of faith.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-2a, NASB