Hey everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting. Lots of things have happened lately and I’ve just been going, going, going. Running, running, running…
Do you remember running a mile, or some long distance, in track? For me, it’s one of those moments I’ll always remember. The way I started to sweat before I even began to run. The nervous glances at the other runners. My ears searching for the sound of the gun. How the little tidbits of my coach’s advice run through my mind. Keep my breathing balanced, run just a bit faster on the curves, and run on my toes. Then, BANG! The test of my endurance and patience is starting.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”James 1:3 KJV
Recently, I found myself repeating those little tidbits to myself now even though I’m not running anymore. My coach had told me that verbal focus helps steer my mind and body to a complete focus. Truth is, I don’t want to stay focused all the time. Some days I allow other things to distract me. Helping others, my job, my family, I’ll take on anything just so I can split my focus.
Because it’s easy to be distracted. It’s harder to stay focused. To stay determined and to keep going. But running and being with God is about steady perseverance, patience.
The definition of patience is: quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.James 5:8 KJV
Stablish, means to enact, appoint, or ordain for the condition of being permanent. In running, no one starts off perfect or with the best habits. We practice, warm up, and review our performances to create, to establish, good habits. We enact, stablish, each good habit with each choice, each step, we make.
In a long distance running , each step you make is a choice. I remember that during the race, the track committee allowed runners to stop running after the first three people passed the line. Our coach said that was an option, but he wanted us to work. Run each step, be better than we were last time. Well track is in the Spring, and it got hot. Long distance running was one of the last events, so many people took the option. One race, I tripped and I hurt my ankle a bit. I wanted to stop, to take the option. But then I heard my coach cheering me on.
In that moment I had a choice, to be the runner my coach saw, or stop the pain. We worry about being the best, being good enough, or we let our feelings convince us to give up but that’s not the issue. In the race, the runner is the one who keeps running. The person that gives an even-tempered (steady) care. Truth of the matter is that being a runner sounds great.
You’re slim, healthy, and people admire you. But when that next step is too painful, when breathing feels like swallowing fire, we stop because we want to. I liked the idea of being a runner, but I wasn’t willing to be diligent with it. Sometimes I’m still not willing to be diligent. With my blog, with writing, with God.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. James 1:22-24 MSG
The moment I don’t take that next step, I have forgotten that I chose to be a runner. While the option not to run is there, as a runner, I take it. I keep choosing to take that step. I stay constant in my effort to accomplish the race (diligence).
I’m not slim, I’m not the healthiest person ever, and not everyone admires me, but running isn’t about that. Running is about choosing to take that next step, choosing to keep going and bettering yourself, because you can and someone believes in you. God, your coach, believes in you.
The biggest part about serving God and running a long distance race, is that you are doing it. At the end of the day, it is you who makes the choice, it’s your decision to take that next step or not.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.James 4:17 KJV
Every race I ran in long distance running, I chose to run till the end. I didn’t do it to get a prize or praise. I did it because I was a runner and I respected my coach. I did it for every step, I knew he was smiling.
I serve God for the same reason. I love God and I need to refocus on each step, to make sure each step pleases Him. Even if I stop and consider quitting the race, I have to remember, being a runner isn’t about getting to the finish line, it’s about taking the next step. God believes that I can take the next step. That I can make it. God loves me so much that He ran the race before me and now He’s running with me. He’s cheering and coaching me forward. He tells me that I’m His child. That I’m running towards Him because I really do love Him. He reminds me that I’m not my distractions. I don’t have to accept defeat. God knows and believes that I am not a quitter.
He’s doing the same for you.