Life is like a marathon...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's been almost a year since I started running.  In fact, I started my first "jog" (if you could call it that) on May 12, 2010.  The ten year anniversary of my dad's death.  I have never been a runner, I have never liked running per say.  But it is one of a very few things that I have found that really gives me a good sweat.  It helps relinquish my stresses, my worries, and frustrations.  Not that this stay at home mom (SAHM for those of you who are into anagrams) has a huge amount of stress compared to some of you reading this, but let's just say that I have learned to strap on my tissues (as my three year old calls tennis-shoes) and some great devotional music and spend some one on one time with my Father.  It has taken a good year for me to get up to feeling comfortable with running five miles in one run...  which takes about an hour...  which with three kids, that's really all I have time for right now. 

I started out with a small goal of being able to run a mile.  And I can remember the first time I set out to do so, it took me almost 45 minutes.  yes, FORTY FIVE MINUTES.  That's how out of shape I was.  skinny, yes.  but in shape I was not.   Since last year, we have joined a gym, I've started working out regularly, and I feel so much better.  I have way more energy and am way less emotional.  The funny thing is, once I started getting into the groove of exercising, my desires for junk food diminished. I think the same thing could be said of our spiritual lives...  Our Father wants us to crave Him.  To spend time with Him.  To get into HIS groove.  And once that happens, our lives will start to look and feel better.

This Saturday, I have the privilege of  running a relay marathon with my beautiful mom and my two beautiful sisters.  My sisters and I  got to talking the other day about how hard it has been to train for this race while balancing family and daily life and still finding the time and the "want to" to keep running.  We shared how we all had our ups and downs of training and how our bodies had all at one point or another had screamed... "I WANT TO QUIT!"  That's when I thought "Man!  Life is so much like running a marathon!"  Our glorious Father wants to see us to the finish line.  But getting there can be tough.  Life is so scary and short and unpredictable and unfair and (fill in the blank with whatever tough situations you are going through)....

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2
Imagine standing in a crowd of runners waiting for the start.  You have trained, you are hydrated.  You are ready.  You've got the best pair of running shoes, you know the route, you know your limits.  You are ready.  You strap on your backpack full of rocks and wait for the starting gun.  Wait, huh wha??  Backpack full of what?  You think...  wait a second...  but I didn't sign up for this????

The verse above tells us to lay aside everything that holds us back.  Holding onto things like unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, and sin is like trying to run a marathon with a backpack of rocks strapped to your back.  Sure, you can do it.  But it takes more work, more effort, and more than likely you won't win.  In this marathon that we call life - let's resolve to take of our backpacks of rocks.  Let's realize that Christ has allready carried our backpack for us...  all the way to the cross.  And when we focus on what he has allready done for us, then reaching our finish line seems to get a little easier.

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