For the second day in a row, I woke to the sound of rain on the roof. Yesterday, a quick look at the weather online showed the promise of clearing pretty quickly so I waited until the afternoon to get my run on. Not so today.
The picture to the right was the radar picture that greeted me this morning, no sign of the rain moving out. So I had a decision to make. Run in the rain, or throw in the towel for training today.
If you're thinking, why not hit the treadmill, two reasons. One, I'm 1000 miles from home at my mother-in-law's with no access to a treadmill. Two, I despise running on a treadmill! In fact, I prefer its oft-used by runners nickname, the DREADmill. Personally, I'd rather run in the heat, the cold, the snow, the rain, the wind, or whatever other inclement weather than run for an hour without going anywhere.
So, my choices were to run in the rain, or scrap today's run.
I wanted to get six miles in today, especially since I'll be on the road tomorrow and Saturday, making it harder to get in any serious running. This is also day 3 of Janathon, the challenge to workout and blog about it everyday through the month of January. With the promise of limited time to get in my training for the next two days, I decided to lace up the running shoes and hit the wet pavement.
"If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!" -- Proverbs 24:10
The rain wasn't heavy as I drove to the gas station where I access the paved trail I run on in Jacksonville, but it was raining. When I hit the pavement, it was little more than a sprinkle. Once again, this run became a metaphor for life as I realized how easy it would have been to falter, to just stay in the warm, dry house because the weather made things a little uncomfortable.
Yes, the 40 degree temps had a little more of a bone-chilling bite to it in the damp air, but it turned out to be a pretty good run. If I'd have let a little adverse weather keep me off the road, what would that have indicated about the magnitude of my strength?
We all know people who tend to quit when the going gets tough. We've all probably been guilty of it at one time or another. We want to do something. We know we need to do something. We might even be right in the middle of something when we hit a speed bump or some other obstacle. And...
...we quit...or we don't even start.
How small is our strength in a situation like that? Or, maybe a more important question is, "How small is our faith?"
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." -- 1 Corinthians 16:13
If we know we need to do something, but we let a little trouble or difficulty keep us from attempting or following through on it, it's definitely a lack of strength. But that lack of strength might just be a symptom of a lack of faith that Jesus Christ can, and will, get us over the hump or around the obstacle.
The thing is, we never get stronger physically if we don't push through the tough spots. You don't get faster running at a pace that's comfortable. You don't get stronger by lifting an amount of weight that's easy to lift. And faith works the same way.
By testing that faith, pushing through when things get rough, continuing on when we want to quit, even getting up when we get knocked down, we give Jesus the opportunity to demonstrate just how great and powerful He is! That's how we grow our faith, the same way we grow our strength.
So the next time the weather outside is a little too cold, or a little rain is falling, or it's too hot, or too windy, or too whatever, just get out and run anyway. You'll be stronger for it, physically and spiritually!
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.