Running The Race: When I Became A Runner

On Dec. 4 I will run in the White Rock Marathon in Dallas. Once a week, I will provide my observations on the connection between the spiritual life and training to run a marathon. Please visit my White Rock fundraising page to honor my daughter and contribute to a great cause.

Wednesday morning I became a runner. Sure, I have been training for a marathon for almost two months but it wasn’t until Wednesday that I became a runner. All signs pointed to me skipping a run that morning. I had stayed up too late watching a recorded playoff baseball game and my early morning workout schedule meant that sleep was going to be short. Then, as my alarm went off, the first thing I hear is the steady stream of rain drops on my roof. I am tired, it is raining. I tell myself that I don’t have to get out there today. But I remember something I had read the day before from Martin Dugard:

 Runners run. If you’re having one of those days where you want to rationalize not taking that first step out the door, remind yourself that this commitment renews itself each and every day. Then lace up your shoes and get out there.

So I took Dugard’s advice and laced up my shoes and put on a hat, to keep the rain out of my face, and ran around three miles. First, the rain was barely noticeable but then it began to pour but it didn’t bother me much because I knew that I had crossed a threshold and had become more than a guy in training but someone much more interesting, a runner.

To me, the spiritual application to the above discovery is pretty obvious. Through my daily commitment to God, even when life brings storms, I become a Christian in the truest sense of the word. But it takes a renewing commitment and realization that seeking first the kingdom is not a drudgery or a hassle but the absolute best thing that I could do for my life. Just as skipping out on a run would have been short changing myself, avoiding my responsibilities and dedication to God and his kingdom can keep me from fulfilling God’s abundant purposes for my life.

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