I’ve been an avid runner for a few years now. I know what your thinking reading this..running? You actually enjoy participating in that? You must be delusional. But nonetheless, I actually enjoy running. It all began a few years ago when I was on a trip in the Bahamas to get away after my long grueling Junior Year of College. It was gorgeous except for one particular day when it seemed as if some type of Hurricane was going on outside. We were forced to card games, playing music, reading, or whatever we could find to do at the time. There happened to be this book sitting on the shelf seemingly collecting dust. “The Essential Guide to Running”. I had never been a runner before and it seemed to be the only book in the house that I hadn’t at least flipped through. Once again, I know what your thinking…reading a book made you an avid runner? What to the fridge and back? Actually after reading that book and taking some notes it proved to be a life changing moment for me. Here’s what I experienced after flipping those pages.
I was so inspired after reading that book (despite the laughs I got from friends), I went home, immediately bought new running shoes, a watch, and was determined to run a 5k. I had no idea I would even keep up with it. It felt more like a New Years Resolution than anything. You know the one you end up quitting not even a month into it. It wasn’t even to lose weight or to get healthier, but of course those side benefits were welcomed.
Years later I am still running. Ive often wondered why I enjoy running so much. It kills my body. It hurts sometimes. I quit sometimes. But then I am reminded why I do it. Ive found Jesus more than ever as a runner. I put my iPod on and blast some of my favorite music. Its just me, myself, and I experiencing the beauty of Gods creation. Me and God. An escape. Its the chance to breathe some fresh air. Ive had some of the best times of worship in those moments. The sobering truth is this question I asked myself recently: What am I really running from? The pressures of this world? Probably. The thoughts of loneliness? Probably. The ever so constant noise in my ears? Probably. As humans we are constantly thrown wrenches in our plans. Things happen. Circumstances play out. Its how we deal with these circumstances that define us I think. Its what we do to escape those issues. Some turn to alcohol as an escape, some drugs, some the opposite sex. For me its running. Here’s the truth: Why Are We Not Running Straight Into The Wide Open Arms of Jesus Christ? He’s waiting for us to run to him. He should be our comfort, our refuge, our strength, our escape. I pray that whoever reads this comes to know that our everything can be found in Jesus. I pray that we can all lace up our shoes, set our watches, and run head first into the arms of Jesus. He’s ready and waiting for us not at the finish line..but at the starting line and all along the way.
“12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!