I've been running a lot for the past 6 months. I think I can't stay away from the feeling of balance and gratitude I get when I have to fight, and win.
Today it was raining freezing water onto the earth by my house. I got home from work dreading the feeling of ice cold water dripping down the middle of my back, paralyzing me with that awful bone chill. I put on my shoes and my gamer wife strapped on hers too, even when she was sick today. We set off for 5 miles in this mess. During my first quarter mile I stepped in my first huge puddle and filled my shoes with cold gelatinous fluid hell bent on wrapping it's tentacles around each individual toe and strangling it to death. I then repeated the puddle incident over and over for the next 48 minutes. When I got home, I got in the shower filled with endorphins from my victory over the elements and my own personal discomfort. As I was feeling the stabbing pain of my sensation coming back into my toes as the hot water thawed them, I had a thought. Very rare thought. It is when the conditions are uncomfortable that you really learn to fight. When you are wanting out and fight to the death you build perseverance. This is mental training. These are the times that you really get the good stuff. You may hate it at the time, but when it's over and you are still standing, you realize that there isn't much that can stop you. Philippians 4:13 becomes a real reality as you have just caught a glimpse of beating your body into submission.
The wise runner will lace them up in 6 inches of snow, icy sidewalks and trails, freezing rain, staggering wind, the dead of night, the mist of the morning, in anger and sadness, when ill, when exhausted from a horrendous day at work, when your legs hurt, and especially when you want to give up. These are the very moments that train you to push on both to the next mile and in your life.
Then I had another rare thought. This isn't just about running. Paul wrote about beating your body into submission as a runner does to train for a race, and uses it as a metaphor for pressing on in your faith. Life gets really hard. Many times, you are gonna want to give up, don't. Keep moving forward. In these hard times, make it a point to face the discomfort head on with tenacity. If you usually run 4, run five when it really hurts. When you sin, don't live in your guilt. Get up, realize your folly, confess it, put it away, and move forward. It's gonna be uncomfortable and the pain in your spine is parylizing, but remember that these moments are golden. This is where you build perseverance. This perseverance builds true wisdom.
Thanks for reading...Z