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

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Last Pre-Marathon Training Run

Only 3 days left until the Louisiana Marathon, and today was my last training run before the race. Tomorrow and Saturday I'll have to do some sort of workout, because I've signed on to Janathon, a challenge to work out and blog about it each and every day for the entire month of January. But those workouts won't be runs. Now it's time to rest the legs in preparation for marathon #9.

Today's run was with our normal Tuesday-Thursday group, on our normal Thursday route. Well...pretty much our normal group. A couple of folks were missing, home nursing injuries, and we added a new runner this morning as well. So I guess I should have said our normal group, but expanded, minus a couple of regulars. Anyway, it's always a great run with these folks.

The new guy is also a teacher, so we had quite a good conversation about education over the course of our 6 mile run. We covered the distance in 58 minutes. I was quite pleased with the effort and feel great heading into Sunday's race.
The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord. ~ Proverbs 21:31

Now that the training is over, I feel ready for Sunday's race. Thinking on the verse above, it occurred to me that I am the horse and the Louisiana Marathon will be the battle. God willing, I'll complete the race and cross that finish line. That's something that is often easy to forget.

I am so grateful that Jesus Christ has brought me this far. Through more miles than I can remember, early morning runs, runs in every kind of weather, good runs, bad runs, mediocre runs, God has seen fit to keep me going physically and mentally through them all.

Sometimes, after a successful training program, or even a single successful session, we can get caught up in our human pride and forget that it's only by the grace and mercy of the Almighty God that we made it through. Even when we start out focused on Christ, the more success we have, the easier it is to begin thinking our accomplishments are all of our own making. Too often, the farther we get in our training, the farther we get from remembering that all we have accomplished, how far we've come, is only possible because God allowed it and gave us the strength and the motivation and the discipline to get through it.

Even the preparation of the horse for battle is subject to God's will, but sometimes He will allow us to drift along in that state of cockiness, believing our own hype, beating our chest, and bragging on what we've accomplished. Even so, regardless how well we've prepared, how much we've depended on God along the way, or how much we've drifted and given ourselves all the credit for coming so far, victory is never certain.

This Sunday, victory means crossing the finish line at the Louisians Marathon. Though I feel prepared, as prepared as I can be, that victory, crossing that line, rests with the Lord. I hope and pray that, through my effort this coming Sunday, Jesus Christ will be glorified. I pray that He will use me as He sees fit to draw others to Him.

If I don't make it to the end, I'll be disappointed for a time, but I have to have faith that somehow, someway, even that could be the best way to serve His purpose for this particular race. If I do make it, I have to remember that it isn't me, but He, who brought me from the beginning to the finish line. He brought me to the training. He brought me through the training. And He's brought me to this week.

However this race ends on Sunday, I hope and pray that He will have used me to accomplish His will. And I hope and pray that I'll remember, if and when I cross that line, that it's only through His grace and mercy that I made it to the race, and through the race.



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