“I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven” – Phil. 3:14 NLT
I have not posted in quite a while so I thought to myself today that I better get back on it. I started 4 weeks ago trying to get in better shape. There are a lot of reasons for that. Health, stamina, agility, better rest and just get in shape. I have this one body that the Lord gave me and while I have been a slacker for years now, it time to take care of business. So I start P90X last month and frankly that’s all I really want to say about it. But I started running last week to help burn fat…I promise I am getting to a point. Running is a whole new level of hard because not only do you have the physical demands on your body but there is also a huge mental involved. Let me explain.
The track that is basically a lap around my neighborhood is 1 mile and consists of some slight inclines, some levels surfaces and some declines as well. I find myself relishing the declines because gravity tends to help and loathing the inclines. But the worst part is when I am just a 100 yards from home. I can see it. I can see it just over there…right there! And part of me wants to quit. As I ran this morning, 7:30am, 22 degrees, rounding the last leg I could see my house, my legs began to wobble a little and I began to breathe harder and I just wanted to stop and walk the rest of the way. Ironically, my mp3 player was playing a song by Casting Crowns and these words blasted in my ears, “If we’ve needed You, Lord it’s now, Lord it’s now”.
That gave me a boost of strength to push, PUSH to the finish line. It is always a strain but I try to remain focused because there is a goal here – to be healthy, to make my children proud that their daddy didn’t give up, that my wife knows that I am no quitter and ultimately that I finish this race and honor my Lord.
A couple of key things that I have found in running is baggage is not good. I told one of the men at church that I was running and that I carried my MP3 player and he started ragging me saying, “Next thing you know you’ll have a camel pack and glasses etc. Really? Well the idea is thinkable. If you were to run with all those things and with blue jeans, cell phone, car keys, pocket knife etc, you would really be weighted down. You just don’t need all that stuff. The same is true with running the race that the scripture is talking about. Don’t bring all the baggage of sin with you. Lay down the immorality, drugs, alcohol, the ______ you fill in the blank. All that stuff weighs us down and forces our performance for God to suffer greatly. Not spiritually healthy.
Let me encourage you my friends, run the race. Get rid of all the stuff weighing you down. Run the race to win and when you see the finish line growing close and you get wobbly and fell like you just can’t make it…press on, push, strain, give it all that you have for the Lord has gone before you and paved the way. He has made a path for you. Home is in sight – don’t give up!
Father, I pray that as we run that You would strengthen us that we might honor You in this race. Help us Lord to run light. In Jesus Name – Amen