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 9:24-27I 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 12:1-2There 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.