I began running several months ago as a means to better health. Running assists my weight loss, increases my stamina, enlarges my lung capacity, and overall I just feel better.
I am sometimes guilty of being too introspective. Running allows me time to do that. Alone with my thoughts, listening to up tempo encouraging music while I pound the pavement, is a good time for an introvert. I’m alone to contemplate a variety of subjects. Aside from better health, time to be introspective is probably my most cherished benefit of beginning to run.
In running, you are always running from somewhere to somewhere…from something to another thing. I’ve been thinking about how running emulates life. We are all so busy going from somewhere to somewhere. Possibly running away from something and running toward something else. We may be running from our past toward a better future, or running from a painful experience toward more joyful experiences. But probably, in my life anyways, the best run is the one where I ran from sin and ran toward the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ. Just as you begin to run and look back and see the starting point fading into the distance, so it is with our life of sin. The “old self” begins to fade as we run toward Jesus and we can see the new life He promised us. There is hope in that. It is worth running the race for.
Running also reminds me of my faith in that while running I grow tired, my pace falls off just a bit, I question what the purpose is of what I’m doing and if it is worth it, and sometimes I over do it and injure myself. Isn’t that like life? We can become tired of daily tasks and activities, our pace falls off in that maybe we aren’t doing our best job at work, or maybe we aren’t being the best husband or wife we can be, or maybe we aren’t spending the kind of time with our children that we should, and maybe, just maybe, we are tempted to quit, to quit doing life like we know its supposed to be done and desire to do life in a way we know in our hearts is wrong. But while running our focus is on the finish line, on completing our run, our race, and that is Paul’s encouragement to us and mine to you. Many others have gone before us, ran their race, and provided us an example of how to run the race of life. Run well my friends!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2