Thursday, February 24, 2011

Running with Purpose


I love to run.

I've always been a runner. Flash back with me to little 5nd grade Jenny (as I was called back then), and you will find me playing soccer, racing all the boys on my team. I was able beat most of them. You could often hear me say, "I'll race you there!" Fast forward to high school. Little 10th and 11th grade Jen (as I am now known) ran track for the local high school. Most of the girls on my team were at practice so that they could look good in their swim suits, and most of the guys were just staying shape for football. Me? I was there to run. I came to each practice and each meet to get better, run faster, have more endurance. Why? Because I loved to run! This love has carried over into adulthood as well. In college I ran almost every morning. It was exciting to push myself to new heights, going more miles, faster.

But this past year I haven't run nearly as much, almost not at all. Sure, I can blame it on wedding planning, being a busy newly-wed, having a full time job, a super cold winter, etc. Truthfully, I'm just not motivated. I have become way too distracted and lost focus of the reason I run in the first place. Today I went on a run for the first time in....well, let's just say its been a really long time. I will probably be sore tomorrow, but that's just part of it. To be a good runner I have to be disciplined. I have to put a lot of time into it. I need to be purposeful.

My spiritual life is no different.

I have been reading through 1 Corinthians. Today I read the verse below - the exact same day I was planning on getting back into running again. Coincidence? I think not. 

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but that only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Ever athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. "
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
I must admit that I haven't been focused solely on my Prize. I have let other distractions, earthy pleasures and life's clutter cloud my vision. How much better of a runner might I be if I choose to run with more purpose? What might come of more discipline in my spiritual walk? One of my greatest fears is a wasted life. Even so, it seems that I have forgotten to strive for Christ with great purpose. Sure, I'm running. I read my Bible, pray, worship, but what is the caliber of my run? Do I run with leisure or with everything I've got?

I was also reminded of this verse:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run the race with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before them, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated on the right hand of the throne of God."
- Hebrews 12:1-2
There are things I need to lay aside to run better. My desire is to be in a passionate pursuit of my Savior. I'm so glad that I have been reminded of the steps I need to take in order to get there.






16 comments:

SavedthruLove said...

what a God filled post. I know the feeling and I love how God is constantly pushing us like the amazing coach and father that He is, to go farther with Him, to be more OBEDIENT to His calling that He has placed on our life and most importantly to just REST in HIM alone. I pray for that peace and for that JOY that drove the apostles, and so many others to the END OF THEMSELVES in walking alongside our savior. Tis a blessing to serve a LIVING GOD and praise GOD for your blog. I need more Christian women on fire for the TRUTH in my life :)

BLESSINGS SISTER

♥cheche

Megan said...

what is running?

jk.

its where your legs move fast right?

Do you think the Lord would mind if I walked to him instead of ran?

;)

beautiful post my dear. xx

Cassandra said...

Inspiring! Speanking of running...have you visited {thirsty hearts} lately? Wanna run in Nashville? for a good cause! and be motivated! Join us!!! :)

Julie Carol Standley said...

i seriously love your blog... im already following!!

come check out mine: im currently running a giveaway....
http://travisandjuliestandley.blogspot.com/

My Beautiful Life said...

It is a race.

What a good read, and reminder.

Thanks so much for having visited my blog, and commenting, because I am so glad I got to your blog.

I love it!

Much love,

-MBL

Cori said...

I love this!!
Thanks for sharing :D

With Love,
Cori from No Such Thing As Normal

Bobi said...

this post spoke directly to where I am at. God has really been speaking to me lately about returning to my first love and focusing on the prize that lays ahead taking hold of that which first took hold of me. thanks for commenting on my blog it was nice to find you and find such nourishment for the soul here. May God bless you in the run.

Chelsea said...

I LOVE running too. I hate that I've been too tired and not motivated to keep running while i've been pregnant because it gives me so much satisfaction and I feel like it clears my head. I haven't ran at all in 3 months, so i fear starting up again might be a bad idea..... I miss it though. I've had some of my best most worshipful times with the Lord during running.

Very convicting post though as far as our walks with Jesus go.

;)

Leah said...

This is a beautiful, soulful post. I resonate with your high school track experience. Running is a happy thing. Your pictures a lovely as well! Did you take these yourself?

arielle said...

i love this. love hebrews 12...one of my favorites. i've been training at the gym and it definitely takes perseverance (especially for one who doesn't like working out-ha!)
it is so easy to get distracted by the things of this world...(sometimes i think living amish would be way easier! ;) ) but just got to keep pressing on. thank you for the reminder!

<3 arielle

Laken said...

I just found your blog.. it's so lovely and inspiring :) Following.

Haley K said...

Absolutely loved this post...inspiring to say the least!!! and i'm not a runner at all. I enjoy exercise & sports though, so I absolutely know what you're saying about giving it all you've got and working constantly. Applies physically & spiritually. Keep your eye on the prize :) And those verses are fantastic! You gave me a great idea to make a print of the one from Hebrews for my sister (who loves to run). Thank you Jennifer!!

Jennifer said...

Cheche - I know. Don't we have an amazing God?!?!

Megan - haha. My husband feels the same way about running. What comes natural to me, just doesn't to him. He absolutely hates it. You either love it or hate it.

Cassandra - I have been reading Thirsty Hearts. It does sound amazing!

Jennifer said...

Bobbi - I'm so glad! That is why I post these things. My hope is that God can encourage someone through what He's been teaching me!

Chelsea - Me too! I loved to run in the mornings (in college) after my devotions. It was a powerful time to be running in God's creation while worshiping Him.

Leah - no, sadly I didn't take them myself. They're from WeHeartIt.com

Arielle - I get SO distracted by the world too...I have a love/hate relationship with blogging for that reason. It can be a great tool, or a great hinderance to me.

Haley - You are so welcome! Hebrews is a fantastic book and I'm sure she'll love it!

Shalyn said...

You write beautifully! I ran a half marathon a couple years back and since then have not ran because I loved it- I had forgotten the reason I ran in the first place because I was so concerned with my time! I love how you draw the comparison with spiritual principles- definitely gives me something to think about! Hope you are having a lovely Sunday!

Lindsey said...

LOVE this post.

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