Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Running The Race

For those of you who know me, it may seem strange to see this title on my blog. It probably seems a bit inconsistent with my character as I do not have a single athletic cell in my body. Never have. I avoid sweating. And sore muscles. This would include running. And so I don’t run. Period.
I wish I did. I drive by runners (Notice I’m the one in the car, not the one running.) and it looks like a good form of exercise,  a way to stay in shape, build self-discipline and get firm muscles (versus the squishiness that comes from avoiding such activities, ahem.). But I just don’t know how to run … and I don’t like it anyway. There, I said it. I don’t like running.

I am in a race, though. This one doesn’t require running shorts. Thank God for that, you don’t want me running around in those, it’s not a pretty sight! It doesn’t require Nikes, which is good because I really would rather spend my money on cute sandals. Or sweating, which is good since I have a life rule to avoid sweating. This seems to be a race I am cut out for. A race I was made to run.
This race is an eternal race. Long distance, requiring endurance. If you have been saved by grace, you’re in this race with me too. No special clothing is required, but we do need to train. There is not a special trainer you have to shell out moolah for, but you do need your bible.

Just as the runners preparing for a marathon are out there day in and day out, we need to train daily as well. I Corinthians 9 gives us some training tips. And it’s a good place to start.

We must begin with strict training (NIV) and exercise self-control (NAS). In all things. There is no room for excuses, rationalizing or permissive days. This is not a race to be reserved for certain areas or times in our lives. It is a way of life.

Have you ever noticed that letting yourself have just one sweet leads to wanting more and more…. Until the sweet cravings get out of control? It’s the same way with sin. Dropping our guard, letting down our stand just once so easily leads to more. For a runner, skipping one day can lead to skipping another and another… and another. And soon training must begin all over again.

We must discipline ourselves, train to be godly, (1 Tim 4:7) and train our hearts to love His word. We need a training routine. Our natural default will be to let self rest, let self do as it pleases, let self go the easy route. I don’t want to live on default, I want to train.

My current training routine involves morning bible reading, journaling and prayer. Then I seek to apply what I studied throughout the day, looking for ways and areas of my life it can soak into. It’s not an easy routine, some days I have a long to-do list and could use the extra time instead of sitting down with God. Maybe putting on some running shorts and Nikes would be easier, but definitely not as valuable. I’m running for a prize that will last forever.
What is your training routine? What are you studying lately?

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