As summer approached, I was determined to get a better attitude about working out. I decided, by God's grace, to begin a work-out regime! My journey began on June 1st. The first day I ran for about 10 minutes. I continued this 3 days a week. After a week of that, I bumped up the time to 15 minutes of running 3 - 4 days a week. Over the course of a month, I started running everyday except for Sunday. By the time summer was over (a total of three months), I was able to run 3 miles in 29 minutes or less! At each milestone in my journey I took time to capture my accomplishments. (See pictures below)
Capturing my thankfulness for getting out of bed and running in the first place! (10-13 minute run)
Praising God for the ability to run on His beautiful creation!
Kalen has always been a HUGE encouragement to me in the "Work-out" process... Here we are just getting back from a run together!
Here I am celebrating my 2 mile mark in 20 MINUTES! As you can see, I was happy #runningonaprayer
And of course a picture of Neila! Everytime I'd get back from a run and lay down to stretch, she'd think it's snuggle time...
This was the first time I ran 3 miles under 30 minutes! Another huge accomplishment! #runningonaprayer
Running on the beach was AMAZING!
And lastly here is where I am now; running multiple miles under 9 minutes and building every day!
This is definitely a miracle to me. The act of persevering in running showed me the importance of training and pushing through when circumstances get seemingly unbearable. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to stop in the middle of my run and just walk home. The intensity of the heat combined with sweat dripping down my face and my brain telling me I can't go on, (Oh and don't forget those painful stomach cramps!)... Yes, that would make anyone want to stop! But, I've been building endurance and know that in order to get better and stronger, I have to endure the pain... In order to build muscle, the muscle must be broken down.
I've found this truth to relate not only to my physical life, but to my spiritual life; my walk with the Lord Jesus as well.
You see running as a metaphor in the Bible. Read the scripture below and be encouraged to see running as a spiritual discipline.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…
I've been reading this convicting book; Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. It's a perfect illustration of disciplining our spiritual lives. As I have taken an active role in pursuing physical activity to build muscle; I see more clearly my need to take an active role in disciplining my time to build spiritual muscle.
"As physical activities promote strength, so the spiritual disciplines promote godliness"
I don't know about you, but I strongly desire to see the fruits of godliness in my life. I desire that more than anything!
The spiritual disciplines defined in the book are:
- Bible Reading (Hearing/reading and most importantly DOING)
- Silence and Solitude
Godliness can only come from discipline. We must apply our hearts to discipline.
Just like there is sacrifice in the physical activity of running, there is sacrifice in order to succeed in our Christian walks!
The question is, what needs to be sacrificed in our daily lives in order for us to develop more of a godly lifestyle? A closer walk with the Lover and Comforter of our souls? This is what I'm asking God to help me with. For everything on this earth will pass away, only what we do in His name and in His love will remain.
Let us pray:
Lord, here I am! Thank you for the lessons you give us in our daily activities like running. Thank you that you've called us to not just discipline our bodies for health's sake, but most importantly for Your Kingdom's sake. Lord, what in my life needs to be rooted out in order to fill it more with the things of Your Kingdom!? For in You Lord is real life! When I am most bound to you is when I am most free. Lord free me and my friends of those things that bind us and keep us from real life in you. Give us grace to persevere and seek you with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Free us from those things that waste our strength and energy. Thank you for your spirit that leads, guides, directs, and comforts us. Lead us now to a closer walk with You Lord, in Jesus precious name I pray. Amen.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV
Running for the imperishable prize!