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

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A glorious run on a glorious day!

It's the 11th day of January, 11 days into the Janathon challenge, a week and a day until the Louisiana Marathon, and finally, finally, the weather broke. So today I got to run under a blue sky and a bright sun, a sun I haven't seen in so long, I was beginning to wonder if it would ever be back.

I only needed 10 miles to make my goal of 40 for the week, but most of my friends were looking for more, training for marathons further out than next weekend. Fortunately, my friend Isabel, ran 5 miles before we met several others at 7 this morning. We started out with everyone else, but split after 6 miles and finished the last 4 on our own. According to my Garmin, it was 410 at the start. That's about 300 warmer than the coldest run I had this week, and the first time in a long time that I've run under a clear sky.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable run! Good weather and good company and a great God carried us through the 10 miles at an average 10:12 pace. That's on track for a 4:30 marathon, my goal time for at least one of the marathons I run this year. I felt good at the start and good at the finish. It's the first time I could say that all week.

So today was a great day and I'm looking forward to a great marathon week coming up!
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17

This week was tough. Really tough. The cold, the rain, the cold rain, the wind. You name it, old man winter threw it at us this week here in central Arkansas. There were lots of times I thought about not running. Lots of times this week, I thought it wouldn't hurt to just skip a run. But I didn't. I ran every day the mileage I had planned for that day.

There were times it felt like my hands would fall off. They were so cold. There were times I honestly thought my ears were getting frostbitten. They were so cold. There were times the wind seemed to cut right through me. It was so cold. There were times I looked more like I'd just crawled out of a lake. I was so wet (and cold.) But each day, I got in my scheduled 6 mile run.

Some might be wondering, why didn't you just run inside or not at all? Well...I can't stand to run on a treadmill. It bores me to tears. And even when I don't want to run, I'm always reminded of why I run, why I can run, why I get to run. More than 3 years ago, before Amanda was killed, God let me know that He would only allow me to run if I run to glorify Him.

Jesus Christ gives me an opportunity to run for His glory. So to me, not running to avoid a little discomfort is not an option. Because when I think about it, I'm reminded of what He suffered for all of us. What pain and suffering was inflicted on Him, that He took voluntarily so that we might have eternal life. How can I even compare the comparatively insignificant suffering I feel on a run to what He went through for my sake?

I can't. So I run.

A little cold, a little rain, a little wind, or any combination of one or more of these makes for "light and momentary" discomfort compared to what He went through on the cross. Not even close to what He must have felt as He was battered and tortured, as He dragged and carried that cross up the hill, as He was nailed to the cross, and as He hung there for hours and hours, bearing the weight of the sins of the world, your sins and mine, so that we would not have to spend eternity in the fires of Hell.

So while this week was tough, it was nothing in comparison. And today, oh today, the clouds parted, the sun came out, and the temperatures warmed. We made it through those light and momentary troubles, and were rewarded with gorgeous weather and a great run.

Just like Paul promised in his letter to the Corinthians, if we bear the troubles of life here on earth, if we persevere and push through so that God is glorified, if others see Jesus Christ in us as we continue when others would quit, we'll receive that promised eternal glory that we can't even imagine now.

So persevere my friends, and know that it will be worth it in the end.



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