Saturday, November 26, 2011

Run For The Prize

I ran my first half-marathon this past March.  Well, I walked and jogged a bit.  :)   But I finished!  And for that, I am very grateful.

Early morning pre-race photo
Let me back up.  I am not known as a runner.  I like to play hard, and work hard; but run?  No thank you.  Until last fall, I had not regularly, or irregularly, run for pleasure or competition.  EVER.   However, I had reached a point in the physical fitness of my body where I realized I needed a catalyst.  I needed a goal that, for me, was really big; to get me going again, to kick-start my energy.

And so I prayed and then contacted my entire extended family.  I let them all know that I had a dream to run a half-marathon, and who wanted in?  First, my big brother Jamie responded from Michigan and said he would run.  Next, my younger (she made me quit calling her "little" when we were in high school) sister Megin from Georgia said she was in, and she brought along her good friend Aura.  Megin and Aura are notoriously game for trying new things and jumping in on adventures.

Jamie, Beth, Megin and me enjoying Kitty Hawk

We all trained throughout the fall and winter, and in March they came to our home in Virginia for the weekend for a half-marathon in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  My mom and older sister Beth came along as well to cheer us all on.  They also spent some special time caring for Megin's baby Judah during the race, which allowed Megin to participate. 

Jamie, Wilbur, me and Orville
Well, I had trained and trained to the best of my ability with the limited schedule that I have.  And my knee was hurting.  Bad.  If I ran more than one mile at a time, I would be in excrutiating pain and have to walk and do a funky side-limp thing, coupled with some wincing.  It wasn't pretty.  At all.  But the fact of the matter is, I finished; and glory to God, I was thrilled that He had allowed me to finish!

I have been reading through the book of 1 Corinthians this week, and today was led to 1 Corinthians 9:24.  "Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize."

Since training for the half-marathon, God has granted me a new perspective on this.  You see, I only trained in a way that would allow me to FINISH.  Just finish.  I continually told myself that with my knee injury I am just at a point in my life where it is a victory to finish the race.

Asking for God's blessing on the race
This may have been true for the half-marathon, but I am praying the exact opposite for my walk with the Lord.  I don't want to just finish.  I want to throw off everything that hinders, all sin that so easily entangles, and run with gusto.  Knee injury?  I want to keep flying.  Bloodied, scraped, bruised, bandaged?  By the grace of God I want to bring Him glory alone.  Worn-out, crushed, persecuted, abandoned?  My goal is to press on toward heaven.  With fervor.

Enjoy today,

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