Running Enemies

As a runner,  I have four formidable enemies.

A headwind kicks my butt. There are days I get dressed for a run only to walk outside, feel a breeze and turn around to head straight for the treadmill.

Hills, although I’m more determined to conquer them,  also leave me wiped out.

Heat is my nemesis and that’s no small thing when you live in Texas.

And early morning is my least favorite time of day to lace up my Brooks.

Half way into my run this morning,  I realized I was facing down all four minions at one time and I just about called someone to pick me up until the song changed on my phone and I realized it was one of those moments that God was teaching me something.  He does that often when I’m working out.  I’ve never figured out if it’s because I’m exhausted and my defenses are down or if it’s because I’m focused and undistracted.  Regardless, I was done.

Jesus and I have had this same conversation many times through the years so I guess I shouldn’t have to be reminded but…ya know.   This morning I was frustrated and on a mission to push really hard and try to prove something to myself.  I wasn’t in the mood for a healthy and low stress walk or jog. This run was about conquering something – even if it was just that little hill down the road.   Little did I know that I would be faced with conquering all those things that I dread at one time and, honestly, I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t conquer them quickly.  I wasn’t sure I’d even conquer them at all.  The truth is I just wanted to quit.

Jesus knows me so well.  He knows how stubborn and impatient I am.  He knows how hard I am on myself.  He even knows how scared I can be even when I don’t realize it, but He has such a sweet way of giving me “pictures” that can explain more than words.  As I found myself gasping for air and about to quit,  it’s as if He said, ” Sometimes this is life.  I know it  can seem like too much at times,  but just keep moving.   We can take it slow.  We can take breaks. But just don’t quit.  Remember, I rule the wind and the sun.  I can make the hills into plains.  I can turn your mourning into dancing.   Keep your eyes on me.  Look right at me….Sing right to me.  I’m your hope.”

Funny thing is I made it home.  It wasn’t my best time ever but it wasn’t my worse and I didn’t quit.  How little I think I can handle sometimes.  If I could only remember that God is on my side and that Jesus is walking with me I think I wouldn’t be so afraid of the pain, sweat, hills, wind, sun and exhaustion.  His love is amazing.  His strength is never ending.  His grace overwhelms me and I think I’ll follow him anywhere… it just may be at a slower pace on some days. 🙂


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