Thursday, February 28, 2008

Running Lesson #1


I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13

I can still remember where I was and the satisfaction I felt the first time I ran 8 miles. That doesn’t seem like a lot anymore, but at the time I was so happy and relieved that I let out a great big “YEAH”! What I didn’t realize was there a group of people across the road who were now looking at me like something was wrong. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I did it! Not many weeks before I wondered if it was really possible for me to run 8 miles as a part of my half-marathon training; but that day proved that it could be done. And I figured that if I could run 8 then maybe, just maybe I could run 13.1.

What you need to know is that I have never been a distance runner. In fact I had always claimed I was certainly and most definitely not capable of running for any lengthy period of time. In school I was fast but only for short distances, so I ran the sprints and relays. The longer races were for others who are capable of that sort of thing. I was so apprehensive about this whole distance running thing that the first time I went out to run 3 miles I wasn’t sure I would make it and had already developed a plan for how to get back home!

One of the enjoyable things about running is that every time you go out it gives you the opportunity to do something you have never before or to do something you have done before better or faster. I had never run 10 kilometers until I ran a 10K. Then a half-marathon was followed by a marathon. Then came a better time in a 10 K and the list goes on. The point: I have learned that I am capable of more than previously thought!

Is there something that you want to do or see the need of but you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t? The truth is you can if you really want to. Is there a habit you need to break? Maybe there is something in your life you need to change? You can do it! Maybe you think that you couldn’t possible talk to your friend about God, but you can. Perhaps in the past you have said that you are certainly and most definitely not capable of teaching or going on a mission trip, but I bet you are!

These kinds of goals are challenging but those are the only goals worth having. Someone once said, “Why not go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is!” Worthwhile goals are not easily accomplished. There will always be some uncertainty in attempting anything new or as yet unaccomplished but those aren’t good reasons to never attempt. With God’s help we can do more than we think! That’s the point that Paul is making in Philippians 4:13. Paul is describing his overcoming some obstacles that he had never faced before and he credits the strength he received from God as the enabling force in his life.

I am not suggesting that running is on par with what Paul was going through, but I am saying that with God’s help and our determination we are certainly and most definitely capable of more than we have ever imagined. Try something big. Attempt something new. Never give up and be sure that you can do it!

Think about it! Gotta run!

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