Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. [Pro 27:17]

My favorite running route is a trail I have named “Serenity and Sweat”. A 5 mile trail through the wooded hills, it is serene. The beauty of the trail follows the seasons so its appearance is ever changing and you’re more likely to see wildlife than people. And the sweat flows freely because it is a most challenging run composed of 5 miles of hills and constant elevation change.

Near the end of the run there is one last hill that both defies and discourages me. After having already run 4 miles of hills I often convince myself that is it understandable to just walk it. But not on a recent run. The difference was that Kyle (our oldest son) was running the trail with me. Kyle didn’t know that I sometimes walk that last hill (he has run the trail with me only once) so he kept running. So I kept running because he was and because I didn’t want to look like the Dad who couldn’t keep up! We both made it to the top still alive and finished out our run.

On the way home he said, “When we got to that last hill I didn’t think I could make it. I wanted to walk but since you weren’t I just kept running.” A wry grin crossed my face while I said, “Let me let you in on a little secret…” Later I told him, “If we play this right, we can make each other better runners!”

And that’s the way it works, doesn’t it? Exemplary companionship is a win-win situation. It is a never-ending circle with benefits both. Solomon said it this way, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. [Pro 27:17]. It is true in running (if you want to run faster, run with someone faster!) and it is true in even more important aspects of our life.

Remember this principle whether you’re choosing friends or running partners and you’ll be sharpened as you sharpen. Think about it.

Gotta run!