I am just another average person running the race of life. The only thing that sets me apart is that I have found extraordinary hope and love through my Savior Jesus Christ. Through Him, I am experiencing life more like the way it was meant to be lived.
My husband (& high school sweetheart) and I mentor youth with the goal to help them love Christ more. You can read more about that journey on our blog. But this specific blog is my online journal of running life.
I love the example of life as a race (check out Hebrews 12:1-2 in the Bible) because I am an avid runner. Running has become a 5 day/week discipline that benefits me on all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I have run one marathon (26.2 miles), as well as multiple half marathons and shorter races. It is amazing what our bodies are capable of; and in fact, it is often our minds that hold us back. Long-distance running has taught me about the value of endurance, and it is this endurance that is necessary to live life well.
I wasn’t always a distance runner. In fact, I wasn’t always a runner. I remember one of the first times I had to run a mile in P.E. in jr. high. I sprinted the first lap and then had to walk most (if not all) of the last three. I burnt out too quickly and decided it wasn’t really an activity I wanted to pursue. Later on in high school, I tried out for the basketball team (there were no cuts) and realized I would need to run to play. Over the next few years, I dabbled in short distance running to stay in shape and to hold off the freshman 15; but I never really committed.
When I was 23, I drowned in a whitewater rafting accident. I was unconscious (and then dead) for five minutes; and after five rounds of CPR by my husband, it is only by the grace of God that I am alive today. You can read more about that story here.
After this, I realized that life was not worth living unless I was going to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. You never know how long you have. I didn’t want to just casually float on by in this life, living a decent–some would even say good–life. No, I wanted to live the best life possible. In order to do that, I surrendered my life 100% to Christ. I had committed my life to Him 20 years earlier, but surrendering completely is a daily battle.
A little over a year later, my husband and I decided to run a marathon. I knew he could do it, but I didn’t think it was possible for me. However, a friend had suggested just registering for a race and then training. He said it was mostly mental anyways. So we did. I had never even run a 5K race before. We began 3 months of intense training, and our lives were changed.
Finishing in 4 hours and 14 minutes, we crossed the finish line side-by-side. Those 3 months and 4 hours were one of the greatest journeys of my life. I think it was that journey that truly made me a runner. Not only did it carry us through a difficult time in life, but it taught us about ourselves and about the character of God.
Just like running, life is all about lacing up your shoes for the long haul. You have to keep the end goal in mind or else you will get bogged down in the weight of the moment and quit. Crossing the finish line is worth every step of pain–I promise you.
But you have to register for the race in order to cross the finish line. If you have never done that, I would encourage you to get a copy of the Bible and read the book of John. It is an eye-witness account of the life of Jesus Christ. I believe that if you truly seek with all your heart, you will find what you are looking for. You will not be disappointed.
Don’t just run this life in circles around the block with no end in sight. Fix your eyes on the goal and run with endurance alongside of me.