Here’s a re-post…enjoy! 

I like to run. I didn’t really start running until I was in high school. I took a jogging class for P.E. And as my mom says, like Forrest Gump; one day I started running and I never stopped!

Running is a bittersweet endeavour. I like to run because it gives me energy. It reduces my stress and anxiety and I sleep better. Of course, I have to admit that it also helps me maintain my girlish figure. But there are some down sides to running. Sometimes it hurts. Yes, if I don’t run for awhile, my lungs burn, my muscles hurt and I have to psych myself up to endure the pain until I get back into shape. Another down side is the possibility of injury. I have been blessed not to have experienced any major injuries in my running career. But one time I did fall and twist my ankle. It didn’t break it, but it was pretty swollen for a few days. Running, like any exercise requires endurance and perseverance. The saying, “No pain, no gain” is so true! If I didn’t push through some pain, I would never experience any of the advantages to running. My brother, who was a distance runner in high school, once told me of a mind game he played with himself while on a long run. He would say to himself over and over again, “the pain won’t last.” I’ve done that, and it really does help. Endurance and pain are an inevitable part of running and exercise.

So, you are probably beginning see where I am going with this. Many times I have been on my daily run and thought to myself, “this so much like the Christian life.” Paul really knew what he was talking about when he likened the Christian life to running a race. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes in to strict training. They do it to a get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” I Cor. 9:24-27. Discipline is a part of running and is also a vital ingredient to the spiritual life of any Christian. There are so many times that I just don’t feel like going for a run. But I push myself. And like running, there are so many times in my spiritual walk that I don’t feel like reading my Bible or checking my motives or controlling my sinful desires. But in order to finish the race and get the prize, I must train myself to run the race in a way as to get the prize.

And what is the prize? Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

There are so many parallels with running and the Christian life that I could go on for a good long time! Pain is just another parallel. When I run it hurts. It doesn’t always hurt, or I wouldn’t ever run. But just like in life we experience pain. But we must run through it. Yes, maybe we slow down, but we must never stop completely. We must never give up the course marked before us. Jesus is our example. He ran the race and finished with victory! Hebrews 12:1-3 says, ” 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 us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him 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 sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” I don’t know about you, but this gets me psyched up to run the race! It makes me want to run through the pain, to get up when I fall and to finish with a prize! Thanks for reading!

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