I have learnt that I have two choices when I finish a race (now that I can sort of officially/unofficially call myself a runner). I can either revel in my tiredness, proud of my accomplishments, enjoying my achievements, and rest my tired legs, or…
I can make a big show about the fact that I’ve just done a race, make everyone take note of me, I can make everyone tremble at my reactions after the race, I can focus on how hungry and tired I am, I can choose not to do anything for the rest of the day, because don’t you know – I’ve run a race.
But, life is a run.
The Race of Faith
12 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, 2 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.
After many a run, I have had to make the decision to finish well. To enjoy my accomplishment and to share enthusiastically with my family and my friends the details of my run. I know that making a different choice would lead me to panic, fear, anxiety, and being miserable after my run.
I want to finish well.
Let me say that again – I WANT TO FINISH WELL.
I want my runs and my running to always be something that I enjoy – before I run, during my run and after my run.
I want to finish well.
Last week I came across the most delightful post on Our Simply Abundant Life. And I think she is so right in what she says – if I finish a race in a bad way, I will be more hesitant to do another. However, if I finish my race and I enjoy my accomplishment, I will be more keen to do another…
It’s also tempting, be it stubbornness, pride, or a sence of accomplishment, to run and finish the race in a spirit of defeat. Instead of submitting to God’s grace we chose to continue fighting by ourselves. I tried in my first two and a half years of our marriage to run the race without God and without community. And I always felt defeated. As I surrender rebuilding trust and finding forgiveness to the Lord, he fills me with grace and peace so real, I can’t help but come back for more. Don’t run the rest of your race defeated. God’s strength is waiting for you so you can run with endurance. Reference here.
And she says it so beautifully – I can finish my race feeling defeated. Or I can finish my race well – using God’s strength, I can run with endurance.
Literally the races I run – but also the seasons of life I find myself in.
In our feelings of defeat we forget each season we face has eternal significance. No matter how big or small, long or short, trying or tired, our circumstances have the opportunity to reflect heaven and eternal glory to those around us.
I am grateful that God never stops teaching me. Not only has He brought me to the point of wanting to learn and grow, but He has taken a vested interest in teaching me, moulding me and shaping me to become a woman of worth.
I am grateful to feel honoured that God is so interested in who I am and in who I become.
I am grateful for the opportunity to run – literally run. I have already completed a couple of 10km races, and one 15 km race. It’s exhilarating to feel the fresh air in your face, your legs moving, your heart pournding – I am blessed to be able to run. And enjoy it.
I am glad that all tough seasons come to an end. Eventually… How do I know this? Well, God’s word tells me…
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Hal Borland said, “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
9 Therefore what God has joined together,
I truly have so much to be grateful for. I love my husband, I love my daughter and I love my God. Who could ask for more?