God Wants You to Run

Yes, that’s right. God wants you to run.

My sister ran a marathon when she was 19. She trained for months, running her college campus, watching what she ate, learning how to find a rhythm, to push her body past its limits. And then she ran. And ran. 26 miles. Her body hurt. I’m sure, several times throughout that day, she thought about quitting. Limping home and curling up with some Ben and Jerry’s. But she was determined not to listen to her tired body. She pressed on. She called me when it was over, thrilled to say her socks were soaked with blood (only runners understand that is an exciting discovery — I am not a runner, so my response was, “Ewww!”). She did it. She was exhausted, in pain, aching all over. Running a marathon is NOT easy. But, she says, finishing is an amazing feeling. Worth all the sacrifices she made.

The writer of Hebrews says, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

The Christian life is like a marathon. We are running a race that has been marked out for us — God has identified our “route,” he has placed on it important landmarks to see, to shape us; people we are to influence and be influenced by; lessons we are to learn. The race isn’t always easy. Like my sister, there will be times when we’re just hurting and want to quit, times when the end seems too far away to ever achieve. But like my sister, we need to persevere. God is calling us to run, not a literal marathon, but a spiritual one. One where the prize is not a medal or bleeding feet, but “the prize of our high calling in Jesus Christ.”

So run. Grab your shoes, start your training, get rid of whatever it is that is holding you back from running the race God has marked out for you. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Don’t just read about the race. Don’t just talk about it. Don’t just listen to sermons about running. Don’t complain about the others who are running or claim to be running. Run! It is worth the effort. It is worth the pain. It’s worth the sacrifices.

Because making it to the end is going to be amazing!

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