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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Let it rain...I'm still going to run!

It's day 9 of the Janathon challenge and I haven't fallen off the wagon yet! The 9th day of the month, made my 9th workout of the month, and this is the 9th blog post of the month. Still on a roll to complete the challenge of working out and blogging about it every day for the month of January. Only by the grace of God.

Today's 6 mile run wasn't really bad. It was better than yesterday, but still not anywhere close to how I was running before my injury last fall.

I finished the 3 mile out and 3 mile back course with an average 10:30 pace. Really, I should be pretty satisfied with that since this was one of the two toughest courses in range when I run from the house, with the last 6/10 of a mile a pretty tough climb to the turnaround.

Things would probably have gone better if it hadn't started raining for the last 3 miles. I was getting faster every mile of 1 - 4, but the soaking, heavy drizzle slowed me down the last two miles of the run.

This time, I started thinking it would be nicer running if it wasn't for the rain. But then I realized that, while running without the rain would be easier and better for me, that rain is just what a lot of people DO need!

Last month, when we traveled to Memphis for the St. Jude Marathon, we crossed over the Mississippi River. I was amazed, in awe, for I'd never seen the river so low! The normally mile wide swath of water looked half that or less, a result of a long term drought plaguing the entire middle of the United States.

Last summer the grass dried up, the ground cracked, highways buckled, and foundations faltered as the air sucked every bit of moisture from the earth for months, returning almost none. Crops failed, shriveling in the heat, dying of thirst. Ponds went dry, lake levels fell, and the mighty Mississippi River shrank to not much more than a stream.

The huge barges that carry tons and tons of goods up and down the river were halted last summer when the river's depth became dangerously low. Just this week, the water levels were again approaching the mark that threatens to stop traffic on this vital supply line to the center of the nation.

The Mississippi River needs water, and all the people who depend on the river need water. Farmers need moisture in the ground to fill their crops and quench the thirst of next year's crops.

Water is crucial to the economy and the people in the central US, and it's in short supply!
" 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." -- Philippians 2:3-4

So what right do I have to complain about getting a little wet on a morning run? How can I think so little of the good of so many that I would deprive them of critical resources so that I can be a little more comfortable on a run?

I don't have any right to complain, and I can't think so much more about myself than all those who really do need this rain. I'm called to value others' interests above my own. I'm called to place their needs above my own. I'm supposed to consider them before I consider myself.

And if I don't?

If I don't, it would be a lie to say I'm running to please God, to say I'm doing this for His glory. Because if I place higher value on my own comfort for an hour in the morning than I do on the livelihood, welfare, and well-being of all those people who need the rain, then all the miles I put in are really all the result of selfish ambition and vain conceit.

Pride. The same pride that brought about my injury last fall. The same pride that God had to remind me of by sidelining me for a few weeks. The same pride that rears its head every once in a while and tries to push God aside and me into the limelight. The same pride that seeks to glorify me instead of glorifying God.
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." -- 1 Corinthians 10:31

So today I realized I have NO right to complain about a little rain. I have no right to ask him to put it off long enough for me to run. I have no right and it's not right to hope or pray that it doesn't rain so I can run.

No! People need that rain. They're counting on this rain. And they're praising God for it! God is being glorified as the parched ground soaks up every drop. God is being glorified by every trickle that meanders its way to the banks of that once mighty river.

If I'm running for the glory of God, if I'm running under the guise of trying to bring Him glory, how then can I call for, wish for, pray for an end to the very rain that's heaping glory and praise on Him?

The answer is, I can't! So I'm not going to.

If it rains again tomorrow, I'm going to run right through it and smile all the way!

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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