I was having some undeserved guilt earlier this week about running. Running has literally consumed me this month. I am determined to start my 1,000 miles plan off strong, but distance has not been my strong point up to now so I have to run often, near daily. I have to keep track of miles and rest and what I eat, when I eat, weather today, weather long term, what obligations might keep me from running and how to plan around that. I’m not sure what other activity has ever consumed me for this long in this many ways. Running is almost always in the back of my mind somewhere. God didn’t send an easy theme or an easy physical representation of that theme: Run. I run. I think about running. Lately I dream about running.
Paul compares the life of being a Christ follower to a race. I finally understand why, because the training that the race involves is entirely consuming. There is no part of my life that won’t later be balanced against what I gave, or didn’t give, to my training. It’s when I think about this that I begin to have guilt for the consumption of my mind with something as mundane and really unimportant (in the scheme of things) as running. But then the Holy Spirit whispers to me that it is of importance because it’s what I have been given for now. The work is hard. I gasp. I push. I give up only to make myself start running again. Each week I go a little farther and then farther still. I have a friend, a new wonderful, humble inspiring friend who runs every. single. day six miles or more. She runs when the sweat freezes on her. When the rain pours down, she runs. I want to be that dedicated, and that strong, not because I want to be like her -though I do, a little bit- but because that strength and dedication, that willingness to push through are qualities to be desired in my character.
Running is what I’ve been given and it is not unimportant.
I’m looking forward to the time when running is more part of who I am and less part of what I do so that my mind can dwell on other things, but then again, singlemindedness is another attribute to which we are called. Perhaps I’m not so far off the mark after all.