Gasping for air, I pushed a little bit harder up the hill. Running has always given me a little bit of relief from my stress. Yesterday, as it topped off at 85 degrees with about 90% humidity, I decided to run with a friend around 2pm. I know, great plan. It was hard. I was covered in sweat and my lungs seemed to be having trouble keeping up with my feet. It was miserable. As we finished our last lap, I realized that even though this was by far one of the most difficult runs I had undertaken this Spring, it was all worth it. Sure my legs were exhausted and my heart was pounding. Sure I felt like I had given my last little bit of energy to that run. Sure I could feel the intense heat on my face that day. It was a struggle, but it sure was worth it. In the end I had exercised off some unwanted calories and I felt good after it was done.
I know it seems odd, but running gives me more energy. Just one run doesn’t do it, but when I run regularly, my body starts to expect it. My energy level boosts up, I guess preparing for my run. Now, I do not have a degree in physical fitness, but it just seems like common sense to me. Running sends out signals throughout my body energizing it for the next struggle that I put it through.
When I think of my faith life, I can easily compare it to running. God is my running. When I put God regularly into my life, He gives me energy to conquer the struggles. There have been times when a struggle has hit me and I was not prepared. I had not been talking to God regularly, so my body was tired and exhausted after the struggle. My brain was tanked out. So after many many trials and errors, I realized if God was in my life daily, I might have the energy needed to conquer my day. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it takes work. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes sacrifice. It sure is worth it though.
So as I gear my body up for regular running times again, I recognize that I might get a little tired and exhausted at first. I might fall asleep a little earlier than normal after a good run, but if I keep at it, if I persevere through the exhaustion – eventually I will have the energy to take on my day.
Running is my physical way to endure my bodily struggles. God is my mental way to endure all struggles. Finish strong. Run to win over weakness, mental blocks and lack of energy. Your run may look quite different from mine, but whatever it is – do it daily. Let God give you the energy to win the race.
I Corinthians 9:24-27 Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize. Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever. That is why I run straight for the finish line; that is why I am like a boxer who does not waste his punches. I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.