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, January 28, 2013

It's another sweat-soaked Monday!

The Run

A six mile run day!
I wish it was Saturday.
Gonna run a 15K.
But it's another sweat-soaked Monday!

I guess you've figured out by now my mind was wandering this morning as I was getting my 6 miles in. I don't know if it's the 28 days straight for Janathon or the crazy warm weather for this time of year, 600 at 5 AM when I left the house. The humidity was 98% but didn't stop me from a great run, my best 6 mile run since my Fall 2012 knee injury.

My route was neither the easiest I run from the house, nor the most difficult, but I managed to complete it with an average 9:11 pace. Three of those miles came in under 9 minutes and the first warm up mile was at 10:16. I'm pretty tickled with it, and convinced it's time to try to get back in with my Tuesday and Thursday running group.

I've held off rejoining them because I doubted my ability to keep up. But today's run convinced me I'm close enough to give it a try again. I haven't run with them since my October knee injury. There were times when I thought I'd never get back enough speed to rejoin them, but thank God I think I'm there now.

And guess's message I learned from my run! Go figure...

The Message

When I injured my knee, I could have given up. I could have quit. I could have decided I'm too old to run and it's just not worth it anymore. But I didn't. Thankfully, God made me more hardheaded than that. Yes. I thank the Good Lord for the stubborn streak that kept me going.

But that stubbornness wasn't the only thing that got me through the injury and back out on the road. No. Jesus also sent messengers who convinced me to lay off running for a few weeks and let that injury heal. These were friends who had far more running experience than I did. It was just after I finished the Soaring Wings Half Marathon in October. My knee was swollen and stiff, so much so I could barely walk.
"Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise." -- Proverbs 19:20

As I hobbled over to join my friends at a table, they immediately began to chastise me for running with an injured knee. One very experienced running friend asked, "Do you want to run when you're my age?" She didn't wait for an answer, because she already knew I did, and added, "Then take a month off and let it heal." There were several ladies at that table, all experienced runners giving the same advice.

I'd always run through injuries before, but this one felt a lot more serious. I still didn't want to stop. It was only 5 weeks to go to St. Jude and I desperately wanted to run it. But I did stop. Maybe because I didn't have a choice. I mean, I left the race and drove straight to Fred's where I bought a pair of crutches. I'm telling you, I couldn't walk. I parked next to a buggy at the store and leaned on it to make my way through the store to find the crutches.

It was still with reluctance that I took their advice, but I did. And sometimes we just have to listen to the voice of reason and wisdom from our friends. I'm convinced God sends them, along with their advice, to help us discern what's best. And I'm very grateful for their advice now, even though I was chomping at the bit for weeks waiting to be able to get out and run again.
"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." -- Proverbs 14:23

I didn't exactly take off a whole month, but I did stop for a whole 3 weeks. It was then I tried a tentative mile and ran it gently, without pain. The next two weeks I picked up the miles, working as hard as I dared to get in shape for the marathon. Jesus rewarded the hard work with a finish, a very slow run, but a finish nonetheless.

Again, I continued to pick up the mileage in preparation for my first double (back-to-back marathons on consecutive days) only three weeks after St. Jude. And again, God rewarded the work and allowed me to finish both.

Since then, I've worked even harder to get back what I lost when injured. I have been blessed to be able to increase my mileage and my speed this month, and am now almost back where I was before.

We've got to be willing to listen to advice. We've got to be patient sometimes. But we also have to work hard when we can. On days when everything goes right, we have to work hard. And on days when everything goes wrong, we have to work hard. That hard work will yield a profit, but sitting on our haunches wishing things were different will yield nothing.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11

God wants us to listen to wisdom. He wants us to work diligently to improve. He wants us to succeed. But if we choose ignorance instead of wisdom, if we sit back and wait for success to come to us, we may be waiting on something that never comes. We are expected to do our part.

So listen to wisdom, and you'll discern God's will for your life. Once you know God's will for your life, work hard to make it happen. Not trusting completely to your own devices, but doing your very best with what God gives you. Get out there and break a sweat. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Follow God's direction and pursue the success He has planned for you, the hope and the future He has in store!

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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