I have to admit, I have covered a lot of miles in 2012. My goal initially was not really to complete two marathons (and then some) in one year; however, that is was the end result. Although I have spent a lot of time on the road, I have also been growing in my walk with God. For this, I am very grateful and feel blessed beyond measure. I don’t think I could have had more precious time in the last year.
Here are 10 things I learned in the last year:
10. Taking steps in faith. Our pilgrimage to God is a marathon. Hence it’s not about speed, but about endurance. It’s as much about taking care of our faith along the way as learning to praise God in the midst of anything and everything. Our marathon will be finished the same way it was started: By taking steps of faith in hope and being obedient.
9. Discovering true fellowship. Christian fellowship is where we initially experience the love of Christ. It is where love is applied to relationships for the purpose of seeking to live right. I have enjoyed the accountability and fellowship of my Run for God-Warner Robins running group. It has truly been a blessing.
8. Learn to deny self. It isn’t always about us. We must be willing to give up anything in life in order to please God. Even if it is an important training run.
7. Glorify God with every step. Paul says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31. This is something I have learned to say, “God, thank you so much that I can walk, swing these arms, run with these legs, and that my heart is pumping and my lungs are working. This is a sheer gift from you and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” This is how we glorify God in everything we say and do (even in things we enjoy or don’t enjoy).
6. Remove idols. One thing I don’t want to ever happen is to allow my love of running to become my idol. I can do this by being where I can best serve to the glory of God. I find I am closest to Jesus when I am selflessly serving others. Thank God for Run for God 2012 and my role in this ministry.
5. Be consistent in prayer. I can’t help but to be in thankful mode when I step out for a run. I am surrounded by God’s creation. That is why I have often started my run by thanking God for getting me this far–out the door. Then, when I am on my last leg, I shift gears again, and begin asking for help. An interesting observation in my experience is that when I offer petitions for myself, I begin feeling the pain of my run, but when I am focusing on requests for others, I don’t feel my own pain. ACTS Prayer Model is a good method. A for Adoration (Praise); C for Confession; T for Thanks and S for Supplication.
4. Give God the credit, not the GU. I have learned that during those long runs God provides you strength no matter how many GUs you’ve gobbled. There has been many days that I have been carbed and filled nutritionally, but not spiritually. There have also been days I have been depleted nutritionally and filled spiritually. It is my observation that God provides us with the endurance and strength needed to get through the race. You must not starve yourself either way.
3. Faith can move mountains. I learned that if God is leading you to do something, do it. If no one else move, get out of the boat and go meet him (like Peter.) Kind of like the movie Field of Dreams when the voice says, “If you build it, they will come.” God has a plan and a purpose for your life and He needs you to be obedient. I cannot imagine being the one that says, “Me? I don’t think so. I am too scared.” How about being the one that speaks up like Isaiah and says, “SEND ME!!”
2. Run for God. “Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1. I believe that God has given me the courage to start, the perseverance to continue the race, and the strength and power to finish strong. I believe that Christ enables me to use my gifts, talents, blessings, tests, trials, and troubles to share His love with others. Our calling-my calling, is to know Him and to make Him known. To be better witnesses for Christ mentally, physically and spiritually.
1. The most important insight to God I have discovered again and again…“Jesus loves me this I know; for the Bible tells me so.” I have been reminded over and over that God loves me, and that, is such a wonderful feeling.
Here’s to covering more ground and a New Year of faith and fitness! Happy running everyone! May God bless you and keep you!