Sunday, October 7, 2007

Running

I'm not an athletic person. I've never enjoyed running or working out (an understatement). And yet I've signed up for a half marathon in May. What is my problem? I don't know. I have some friends here who have talked me into the idea and I figured I may as well try. I need support and motivation and a goal to actually exercise, so I figured the half marathon looming in my future would be a good start. So for a week now I've been running. Not too far, but father and more often than I ever thought possible. I'm enjoying it more (read: hating it less) than I had expected.

And it reminds me of this verse each time I run:

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of
witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily
entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing
our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before
him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of
the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so
that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Run with perseverance... I've never been strong on perseverance or discipline. From exercise to devotions to emails filled with Riley pictures to my mom. I quit doing what is good. I get lazy. I stop early. But with each run I take step after step and keep going. Such a good feeling. I'm reminded that it is possible in other areas of my life, too. One step in front of the other on this life's journey.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus... so that you will not grow weary and lose heart... One tip my friend Kara gave me a while back (when she roped me into running with her) is to focus on something up ahead in the distance - a lamp post, tree, house, etc - instead of looking down at your feet. It opens up your body, gives you better posture, and the like. And for me, it helps me run further. I don't think as much about the effort that goes into each step or how tired I am, but rather focus on reaching that goal. Similarly, I'm reminded to keep my eyes on Jesus as I run this race called life. Focus on him throughout my day, instead of the worry and busyness, stress and pain of life. I can get bogged down with errands, bills to pay, food to make, and laundry to do. I'm easily discouraged. But when I refocus my thoughts and energy to the one who loves me, guides me, and has given me life, I am re-energized. I'm given a new attitude and perspective on life. I'm thankful to have a reminder of this truth. I so need it.

Isn't it interesting that God uses what is physical to teach us about what is spiritual?

I'll keep you posted on how the running is going.

3 comments:

The Telmans said...

I'm so proud, you will do a great job in the half marathon. Since it's your first race the only goal you have to set is to finish! Everything beyond that is extra! Keep up the hard work and any time you need encouragement call me, I'll be in your corner!

Short Stop said...

This is awesome, Jessica! Good for you for doing this. And, I love that you shared these verses...what great encouragement!

sbaar said...

Please do keep us posted! That's awesome that you're going for a half marathon. The farthest I've done is a 10k - a half marathon will not be easy! :)