Encouragement

Running

I hate running. Sometimes I imagine myself as a runner so I make it a big deal and decide I am going to make it my hobby. Over the years I have felt the urge to give it another chance. I begin by doing what runners do first: buy expensive running shoes. That is what you’re supposed to do, right? I will then go to Ross and make sure I have the cute work out clothes because when you look good you feel good.

I carve out a day out of the week to start, grab my headphones, put my cute work out clothes on, and begin. Fifteen minutes in and I am suddenly reminded why I hate running.

I hear myself breathing heavy and it messes with my head. My thighs turn red and start to itch. And I am quickly reminded how out of shape I am as I stop every five minutes. I suddenly feel like I am dying and I feel defeated so I quit. I turn back towards my house and decide I’ll try again maybe next year.

This is clearly not a healthy cycle but that’s where I am on my running journey. It’s okay, you can laugh because I am laughing as I type this.

I was reminded of this real and funny scenario of mine as I read Hebrews 12:1-2 this morning,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 

I think it’s easy to imagine this endurance driven verse as a runner headed towards the finish line with a whole crowd of people watching. Since I am clearly not a runner it tickles me to read this because I clearly wouldn’t make it to the finish line. People would need to carry me to the end or I would much rather be the water girl not mentioned in the verse.

Yet, I am reminded from this verse that I don’t have to be the “perfect runner” when it comes to my life.

The one thing I get out of this passage is this, “Keep your eyes on Jesus. The champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

He doesn’t say go buy the running shoes and make sure you look cute. He says look up at me. Keep your eyes on me.

“…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.

Strip off perfection. Strip off the lies of defeat. The lies that tell you are a failure and you’ll never be able to run again or begin those dreams of yours.

Take off the heavy hydration pack you’ve been carrying in your own strength. He is your source.

Don’t look around at your circumstances or the worries of your future. I know sometimes you wonder if life will always be this way. Look up. Keep your eyes on him.

He is the finish line. He is our refuge. He’s our strength when we are weak.

I am so glad I don’t have to run this race called “life” in my own strength. Obviously, I don’t have a good track record with real life running. When it comes to my faith, I know I am taken care of even when life gets hard.

I don’t need the expensive running shoes or the cute work out pants to get me to where I am going.

I just need to look up.

I only need Him to finish the race.

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