I hated to run when I was younger.  There was nothing more torturous than running in gym class.  I didn’t like to sweat or get my hair messed up!  In Jr. High, I did track and I quickly learned that I did not have endurance.  I was a sprinter–and not a good or fast one.  I am guessing there was probably a boy that did track and I liked something about the uniforms.

Fast forward many years and I find myself running daily!  2-3 miles!  In some of my hardest and darkest days, running has saved me.  It gives me an outlet for stress, time alone to think and to pray, and helps with my depression. I have run a few 5ks and plan to train for longer races when my kids are a bit older and I have the time.  But for now, I want my kids to see a mom who takes care of herself physically and emotionally and running does that for me.  It has become empowering!  The other day I did 3 miles in CRAZY heat….115 with the heat index!  I finished and felt good and tired.

As I run I often have verses that flash through my mind.  Some come from whatever I am listening to and some, I believe, right from God.  This one came to mind the other day…..

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV) The Need for Self-Discipline
“ 24 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. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to 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 see the “strict training” and have a list of excuses……I listed them above for you….”my kids are young, I’m busy, maybe later”.   NO God calls us to RUN the RACE…NOW! Not to just casually do it but to be purposeful as we live this life.  To make our bodies submit to HIS will and run our best. I think this is Paul cheering us on and encouraging us!  I feel like he is saying: “Don’t be lazy about it and not run your best because you think you can’t win, everyone who runs this race wins!”  I think of this as running a 5k and they clear everyone each time a runner comes across the finish line and people cheer like they are the first ones….but they do this with everyone that runs it!

What do we take away from this?  Do the hard work.  Train.  Seek God with all you have.  Strive to live a life that matches HIS word.  Even when it feels like everyone around you is stopping to walk, you are to press on towards the goal and prize.  RUN FORREST RUN!

Jeremiah 29:11