Thursday, September 25, 2008

Running Lesson #9

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” [Heb. 12:1]

Tomorrow (9/26/08) I head up I-77 through the beautiful Ohio farm land to run in the annual Akron Marathon on Saturday. This is not a last minute decision – anything but! I have been training for months and the event has been on my calendar even longer. There is no way I’m going to back out now.

> I have too much invested! There are many hours on my stopwatch and many miles (about 400) on my shoes. I will not throw that away!
> I am looking forward to the company! I love race day and the race crowd because we have so much in common. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and hearing new stories.
> I want to cross the finish line! I have often envisioned what it is going to be like to cross the finish line, especially during difficult runs. There were times that thought alone kept me going. Now I’ll finally get my chance to experience it.

As you would imagine, I’m not going to quit now! If I was ever going to give up on this goal it would have been months ago. In fact, I have discovered that people are more likely to quit early than late. I wouldn’t have thought it before, but early on I discovered that the urge to stop was greater after just a mile than it was after 5 miles. But after a little while you catch your stride and get in the groove and you want to finish well.

I have observed the same thing in new Christians. The same reasons I won’t give up on the race now are the same reasons long-time Christians rarely quit at the end. But new Christians are often different. They start out good: energized and running well. It’s great to be a Christian! But after a while the new wears off or they run into some obstacle and they want to stop. What they don’t know is that if they just keep running they’ll catch their stride and then they won’t want to quit.

The lesson, especially for new Christians, is simple: just keep running. You’ll be glad you did! (Rev. 2:10)

Gotta run!