I believe the mile markers of running correlate to our Christian walk…
Mile 1 is people. This first mile is often shared with others. It warms you up and prepares you for what’s to come.
- The enthusiasm of the run propels each step. Although the increased demand placed on the heart and lungs are “warming up” and are therefore taxed during this stage, the body is ready, fresh, and energized.
Mile 2 – coasting. Time to enjoy being outside and amongst other runners and walkers.
- The body is now warmed up and so has your pace. The heart and lungs are functioning efficiently and the “work” of running is easy….
Mile 3 – the mental mile. You look around and see that the crowd has thinned as many have left seeking water, food and rest.
- Your pace slows a bit as you begin to “Count the cost” to continue on your run asking questions such as: Have I eaten well in the last day or two? Have I consumed enough water to remain hydrated?
- During this stage hills become part of the new terrain and you realize that no matter how well you prepared, to continue this run you will need to dig deep into what God has supplied, forgetting what “you can do”.
You are left with three choices: turn back to home and safety, continue the run trusting in His provision, or stop. Which will it be?
Mile 4 is the mile marker littered with doubts and fears.
- The first thing you notice is that your tarred path has turned into a dirt trail adorned with a narrow gate
- Your pace has quickened as God’s provision is clear filling you with freedom and empowering you to move forward. You press into the hills and push past your “self” proceeding in new found confidence.
Suddenly, threats are perceived- two large dogs are roaming ahead on your path. Fear has jumped on bearing down as you remember your last incidence with two small dogs…
- You assess the situation- remembering the pepper spray left on the counter of your home yet you move on deciding to trust.
- Choosing to continue on the path God has for you and leaning on His promises of protection you hold your breath and continue forward.
- Stepping through the gate you celebrate His protection and now run in renewed confidence.
- Relaxing you begin looking around and realize you have been alone on this path for a long time. The desolation of surroundings and complete aloneness press in with threatening certainty. While ahead crude “blinds” with gaping holes peer at you with threatening presence.
The gently waving grasses from a moment earlier now harbor a multitude of unexpected threats while every sound is amplified striking terror in your heart.
- Thoughts to turn back (again) scream unceasingly in your ears yet somehow you persevere and follow His path for you.
You whisper your promise to Him to turn around only when released regardless of any event or circumstance.
- Seeking protection and direction He gently draws you into deeper fellowship as His presence becomes a living reality and His reassurance of protection is confirmed.
Mile 5 freedom and complete joy in the run is experienced at this mile marker, due to the heart knowledge of His protection and complete provision.
- Running alone no longer feels lonely but is full of His presence. Your pace picks up as this run is easy internally… you heart and lungs are rejoicing in the breath that gives life.
- Your mind transcends the physical pain of your body which emits silent screams as blisters are formed and the various body parts ache yet…
You rejoice in the ability to walk hand in hand with your Creator and move in unison with Him alone.
- And the cycle begins again…
What have I missed most about running? simple. Distances
WHAT ABOUT YOU?