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 30, 2013

So Blessed to Run!

The Run

Another 6 mile run today, trying to finish strong for Janathon. One more day and the challenge is over. This morning I needed to be at work by 7, so I rose 30 minutes earlier than normal. At 3:30 I was up and moving to dress, stretch, eat a quick bite, and prepare to step off at 4:30.

The weather was better this morning, but still a little warmer than I'd like. My route took me by a church with a sign that showed the morning temperature as 550, not at all bad, but I still like it a little cooler. And I guess I'll get it cooler. Looks like this will be the last day of running in spring-like temperatures though. On the way home from church a sign showed the outside temperature already down to 370. Instead of wringing sweat out of my shirt tomorrow, I'll likely be peeling the frozen shirt off after my run.

The route I chose this morning we know locally as "Cherry," so named for the street at the halfway point. It's a loop course with pretty much a 3 and a half mile climb on the way out, and a 2 and a half mile descent on the way back. I don't run it often because miles 0.5 to about 2.0 are run alongside a highway with significant traffic and just a sliver of pavement serving as a shoulder. Leaving the house at 4:30 though, I doubted traffic would be too bad, and it wasn't.

I ran a little slower this morning, with average pace dropping to 10:22. Part of it could have been that I was up earlier than normal, but more than anything I think I just needed to back down a little and take it somewhat easier. I have the River Trail 15K to run on Saturday and the Mississippi River Marathon next Saturday. So far this month I've logged over 180 miles. If all goes according to plan tomorrow, the Good Lord will have permitted me 192 running miles when January comes to a close.

That's a long way from the weeks I sat out late last year due to injury. It is significantly higher though than the typical 150 or so miles I average most months. I'm not as fast as I once was, but I'm blessed to just be able to run!

The Message

Today's run and the miles I've put in this week, how far I've come since my injury, and the upcoming races I'm registered to run, thinking of all these things today reminds me of just how blessed I am. I'm blessed to be able to run, blessed to have a wonderful wife who tolerates my addiction to running (and even participates in most races with me), and blessed to serve such an awesome God who calls me to serve doing something I absolutely love.
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us..." -- Romans 12:6

God gives us all some ability or another. Some are artists, some are musicians, some are great orators, others writers. When the word athlete is spoken, a picture of a muscular man in his 20s usually comes to mind. But it doesn't take a young, strapping, cut young man to make an athlete. Even us fat old bald guys (and, yes, that's plural because I know others like me) who run marathons are athletes. We won't make the cover of Sports Illustrated and you won't see our picture on a cereal box, but we are blessed with the ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles or more. I don't have a lot of other abilities, but I am certainly blessed with the ability to run.
"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD." -- Proverbs 18:22

There is no doubt I've become addicted to running. If I could afford it and it wouldn't interfere with work, I'd be running races nearly every weekend. But I can't, and it would. So I run as many as I can. And while most people think a person must be crazy to even WANT to run 26.2 miles, my wonderful wife not only accompanies me to most races, but participates in them as well. Without a doubt, I am a very, very blessed man to have such an understanding wife. I can't imagine living this life without her.
"but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." -- 1 Corinthians 1:24

Called and empowered by Jesus Christ! I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt. I still remember hearing a little voice inside my head telling me that I had to find a way to glorify Jesus through my running. That came soon after I started running again at 40. That was God letting me know that, if He was going to let me run, I was going to have to run for Him. Once I finally responded and answered that call, my running went to a new level.

Now I realize that I couldn't run a mile without the grace and blessing of my Lord and Savior. If Christ doesn't want me to run, it wouldn't matter what I wanted. Every step and every mile is a gift from Him, a gift I'm expected to use for His glory. I'm doubly blessed because I actually love to run, so I love what it takes to answer God's call.

I'll say it again. I am an extremely blessed man.


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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