I remember when I hated running. It was always for conditioning purposes back in high school. Five down and back, 21 across, line drills, blah.. blah.. blah.. yuck! It was hot and always very hard and I complained the whole time. I remember telling my dad I wanted to quit basketball because I simply dreaded the first few weeks of straight up hard work.
A few years ago I had a close friend that tried to talk me into running. I kept telling her “I’m just not a runner”. My mind would take me back to those hot August days in the gym where I wanted to puke my lunch up on the gym floor. I was perfectly happy as a “speed” walker as my choice of cardio. (My high school friends are puzzled that I even used the word speed.)
But then I gave it a shot. A few laps around the track one cold December morning paired with girl time had me hooked. And now I have a few pretty medals from a few races to show off. I’m pretty darn slow but that’s not the point okay. I enjoy running when its 60 degrees on a flat road with no wind preferably no heat and no humidity. That’s all.
This got me thinking about my salvation and how long I spent my life perfectly content as a walker.
I grew up in church my whole life but I can safely say that it wasn’t until high school that I fell in love with Christ and his word. I was smitten with Him and his grace that he extended to a pathetic loser like me.
So I began walking.
Walking is great isn’t it? One foot in front of the other gets us right where we want to go. There isn’t much labor in walking. It’s easy on the body and good for the soul.
That’s exactly how my faith looked for most of my adult life. Attend a bible study, worship on Sundays, and read my Bible when I needed to check that off of my list too. Walking is comfortable.
But then I started reading His word. I don’t mean reading it just to check it off my list but taking small bites and REALLY chewing on them. Talking to the Lord about the things in my life that didn’t match up to what His word says. Asking Him to grant me wisdom and knowledge to understand it. And most importantly praying His word back to Him.
I’m convinced that when we continually dig into Gods word that it activates the Holy Spirit within us to move. He places passions and affections within us that at one time had no place in our lives. He gives us a righteous anger towards the things that make Him angry. And He gives us eyes to see the grace he covers us with so we too can show grace to others.
Then we lace up our running shoes and start running.
I realize now that I was so content walking because I never truly understood the gospel. I’m not quite sure that if we understand the gospel that we are able to walk.
How can we NOT run? RUN to the needy, RUN to the oppressed, RUN to the hungry, RUN to the lost. When we understand the gospel there is no time to walk.
Jesus’s words about this hits me hard every. single. time.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take you inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sister of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)
I’ve seen some pretty cool runners lately. Families who are going on mission trips, people opening their homes to foster care, adoption, women determined to bring awareness to a community about sex trafficking, ladies who serve at the pregnancy resource center. I cannot leave out those that serve in the church week after week. I could go on and on and on.
Sister, are you a walker or runner?
If you are content with walking this thing out until the end you are missing out. Running a race is hard. There are hills, wind, heat and blisters. But crossing the finish line and throwing that medal around your neck is a feeling like non other.
Start grabbing the walkers along the course and show them how much more rewarding it is to run the race!
Get out there and RUN!
Would you share the areas that stir your affections for Christ that cause you to run?