I ran into my friend Leigh Ann at lunch yesterday. She’s been through a tremendous journey of weight-loss and finding her way to a healthy lifestyle that includes running. We compared notes on 5K training (she’s doing much better than I am, by the way).
“It has a lot to do with breathing,” she suggested. “I had a hard time figuring out how to breathe.”
I agreed with this. “But, it’s a mind game for me mostly. When I run I tend to psych myself out. I start thinking, ‘I’ll never be able to run twenty minutes without stopping’ around minute three…and by minute eight I’m ready to just give up and walk and try again tomorrow.”
I then pointed out, “It’s different, though, when I run with our running club. When I run with the group, I tend to either be too distracted or too encouraged to play the psych-out game in my head.”
Even this introvert has to admit that our spiritual walk/run/journey is the same. If we run the race alone, it’s easy to lose our goal and give up. To reach the finish line, we’ll have to accept help in the form of teaching, encouragement, accountability, love, care and challenge of others. These people come alongside at the right time and give us hope that we can make it to the end, accomplishing goals set before us and keeping our eyes on Jesus, our ultimate helper.
This Lenten journey has certainly not felt like a race. At times it seem to creep by. It would have been nearly impossible if not for the help and grace of God that came through so many of my co-journeyers.
Easter is almost here!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2