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

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Getting Back on the Road

Sunday was tough and I missed my daily Janathon post that day. But hopefully I can use the fact that I ran a marathon, then drove 7 hours home to justify skipping a day of writing a blog post.

Of course, that meant the race recap describing Sunday's workout was written on Monday, so I'm still a day behind on these blasted posts this challenge requires me to write. So this post is going to take in yesterday's workout and today's, and I hope that doesn't disappoint anyone too awful much.

Yesterday, the day after a marathon that gave me a pretty good challenge, my workout was really, really light. It consisted of a simple 20 pushups. In all honesty, I more than likely wouldn't have even done that except for the month long Janathon, my commitment to work out and blog every day. But something's better than nothing, so this challenge is doing a great job of keeping me doing some physical exercise every single day.

Today was more demanding. I was back on the road for 6 miles with our regular Tuesday/Thursday group. We were a little smaller than usual today, only 4 of us. A couple are out nursing injuries, and I think old man winter keeps others at bay some days. But we got in a nice run, averaging just less than 10 minutes per mile. That was inspite of a vicious wind that blasted us in the face for the first mile and change. Though we got some reprieve after that, it kicked up several more times along the route before we finally made it back. Luckily, the temperatures were really mild for this time of year, otherwise unbearable would have been a good word to describe the conditions.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9

Today's run was about getting back on track after Sunday's marathon. 26.2 miles is tough, just plain tough. It beats you up and beats you down and makes you stiff and sore. Sometimes, the hardest thing in the world is to get back on the road after a tough race. But that's exactly what we have to do. It's the best thing to do. Get back out there and start running again.

It's the same when we fall to sin after we're saved. Jesus came to save us from our sins. God knew we couldn't make it to Heaven on our own, so He sent His Son to intercede for us, to pay the price for our sins, so that we can have eternal life with Him in paradise. All we have to do is reach for His outstretched hand and take the gift of salvation He offers.

But even when do accept His gift, even when we're saved, we're still an imperfect sinner. A Christian sinner, but a sinner nonetheless. And once in a while, all too often, we fall into sin even after we're saved. And once we fall, the longer we wallow in that sin, the harder it seems for us to turn away from it and turn back to Jesus.

After the marathon, when your muscles are stiff and sore, when the last thing you feel like doing is stepping out on the road for a run, the best thing to do is to get out and pound the pavement a little. It's surprising how quickly it loosens up those tight muscles, and how quickly the post marathon soreness fades once you're out on the road.

Getting back on the right path with God is very similar after we've strayed from the fold. The farther we fall and the longer we're gone down that path of the prodigal son, the harder it is to humble ourselves, admit our mistakes, and beg forgiveness to get back where we need to be with Jesus. But He promises that if we do confess our sin, He will forgive us and "purify us from all unrighteousness."

How awesome is that? He doesn't fine us. He doesn't give us a lists of actions we can take to earn forgiveness and find favor with Him again. Instead, we're promised that we must confess, then we'll be forgiven.. Still, that confession, admitting we were wrong, is often the most difficult thing to do.

But just like that first post-marathon run, once you get out there and do it, it's never as hard or as tough or as bad as you imagined. Once you make that confession and ask forgiveness, you're back where you need to be, back exactly where Jesus wants you. Back and ready to run the Christian race, living life in a way that will bring honor and glory to God, leading others to Jesus.

So if you've drifted away from a Christian lifestyle, turn around now. Get back on the right road.

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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