Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ready or Not?

As most of you know, I'm training for my first marathon on September 28 in Akron, Ohio. I have been following a 16 week marathon training schedule and let me tell you some days are tough! This week is my last week of hard training then my runs get lighter leading up to the race. 

During my training, I was really excited to start the plan. Then as weeks progressed a few months into it, it became less exciting and more work. Then summer hit and the heat was brutal, disgusting, painful,exhausting-well you get the idea.

 There were days , I wanted to quit early and not finish my miles. And some days I did due to sickness. I felt like a failure on those days. But I got up the next day and kept working on my running. 

I thought, if I could endure the summer heat, just maybe it would pay off when fall came around. 

I learned to endure a 20 mile run without stopping and to press on when I was exhausted. I knew these workouts although they were not my personal best, would hopefully produce a stronger runner in the end. 

Today, I finally saw great results with my speed. (And the weather was 59 degrees!) My hard work during the summer has paid off. 

6.25 miles with an average pace of 8:30. My last mile was my fastest at 8:09. And let me tell you, it's hard to run the last mile as your fastest. But come race day, I want to finish strong. (Something James has taught me to do since I started running.)

So it got me thinking...

In life we run a spiritual race.

When a person first accepts Christ into their life, they are so excited about living the life of a Chrisitan. They are ready for a life change! No longer to live the way they did before but to live for something much Greater than themselves. No longer to walk on the broad path but the path less traveled- the straight and narrow. 

But then something happens along the way. Maybe a trial or tribulation and life gets tough. They start to look at their situation and not to God. They slowly lose the joy of their salvation and begin to cut miles out from their daily run, and spend less time in prayer and Bible study. 

But as children of God, we are called to endure the race. Finish strong. The tough days are preparing us to run even stronger in the days to come. God will be our strength when our energy left us at mile 14 on that huge hill. 

Sure there are hot and humid days that will be tough but thankfully those days don't last forever! 

(Well unless you live in Florida...) 

Fall is just around the corner and race day for me is only 25 days away. I'm ready for race day and to cross that finish line! 

How about you? Are you ready to cross the finish line? If God called you home today, would your race be a strong finish or barely crossing the finish line? 

Stay strong and finish strong in God's strength. You never know who you'll influence to join the race! 

Romans 5:3-6
"...but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. "

Hebrews 12:1-2

"... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."