I completed a First this weekend. I ran a 5K race! I hope that as the years unfold I will continue to tackle firsts. This one was particularly enlightening to me because it is completely out of character for me. I have always considered myself a non- runner. I have even declared I could not run- blaming the assumption on chest pains and such.
A pal of mine recently spoke to a group of women about the benefits of setting physical goals, training and running races. She spoke of her own journey and how she had continued to improve and the affect she saw on her mothering, physical condition etc. I sat in the audience with these thoughts. “ Oh, it would feel so good to be able to run an ample distance successfully- but there is no way, I cannot run”.
Days later at a party, I heard some friends talking about this jingle bell 5K race and spontaneously I decided I was going to do it.- no matter what. When I told the husband, I thought he was holding back laughter. He believed in me but also knew I displayed almost zero endurance.
I promptly tackled the training period, starting small. I remember achieving a mile in October without stopping and wondering how I was ever going to run 3.2 miles continuously. I knew i could stop and walk in the race but my goal was to run it entirely.
What I learned is that my body could do physically more than I imagined. I started running with a friend who is experienced and she observed my stride- noting I was often clenching my fists and tensing my arms contributing to the chest pains. I also learned that I just needed to run through the pains that occurred. It is amazing how they stopped and I realized HOW OFTEN I WAS USING DISCOMFORT TO STOP MOVING FORWARD. This truth has correlated so much to my character and spiritual growth. When it gets uncomfortable we often stop. Is is only when we push through the pain that we see growth.
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,
I have seen growth in my physical body as I pushed myself towards a goal. Simultaneously I am anticipating growth in my personal life as I push through discomfort with Thankfulness. It is gratitude that will push us through the stretching, trying, rough spots. In the Bible, the Christian life is often described as a race to be run. Similarly a race requires perseverance, training and commitment. The parallels to the Christian life are evident. We should rid ourselves of all hindrances.
I didn’t stop. I ran the entire way with no pains. I was further excited that I achieved my best time thus far and placed well! And to think six months ago I said I couldn’t run! INDEED I CAN. I am blown away and saddened by how many things we are capable of doing but don’t because we believe the lie that we can’t! What do you think you can’t do today?
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