Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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,--Hebrews 12:1

Monday, April 4, 2011

Somedays I'd Rather Stay in Bed...

...but I can't.

Yesterday was my day off from running, and I needed it after the 16 miles I traveled on Saturday. But today I had a 5 mile run planned. When the alarm went off, I rolled out of bed and had to override my instinct to reset it for later and crawl back under the covers. No rest for the weary if I'm going to be ready for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

"11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."--Romans 12:11-12

Some days it would be easy to be lazy--lacking in zeal--and talk myself into staying in bed. Especially when I'm tired and sore from a long run like Saturday's. But I believe God has called me to serve Him with my running. I've been called to keep running to Reach, Raise, and Remember. I can't do that if I lay in bed!

Today would have been easier than normal. Just as I set out, a shooting pain in my left knee began. I thought about quitting right there, then decided to see if it went away once I got warmed up. Before I'd gone a mile, my right knee began to bother me. I was really wanting to quit then. Instead I decided to keep going and "be patient in affliction."

I began to pray in earnest then, even while I was considering cutting my planned 5 miles to 4, or even 3. I was praying for strength and determination as well as relief from the pain. It was about then when a leaf began to blow in the wind in front of me for a few feet.

Whenever that happens, especially when I'm struggling on a run, I'm convinced it's Amanda letting me know she's there and encouraging me to stay the course. After that, other thoughts came to mind even as I prayed. Amanda was running with me to keep me pushing through the pain. The voice in my head told me the pain was a reminder of the suffering Jesus endured, and that His pain was far worse than the discomfort I was feeling. These thoughts were the answers to my prayers.

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."--1 Peter 5:10

Relief didn't come, but the strength and determination to finish did. We don't go through life without pain, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot, and I shouldn't expect to go through these races or the training for them without some earthly discomfort. But in the end, I'm promised that I will be restored and made "strong, firm, and steadfast."

In less than two weeks, we have the Doc Rock & Run in Jonesboro. I'll be running the half marathon while my wife, daughter, and daughter's friend will be participating in the 5K. No more long runs until then for me, but I've got to keep hitting the road to stay in shape for it.

Praise Jesus! He keeps me running even when Satan tempts me to quit. Thanks be to God for keeping me Running with Amanda to Reach, Raise, and Remember!

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