Not really. I want to be able to say that, but I can't. Yet.
"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1
Ok...so maybe endurance athlete is not on my name tag. I am not a runner. I would almost say I loathe running. Almost. It is a love hate relationship--I hate doing it and it loves to torture me (just kidding--not really). I do love the END of a run and I am getting there with learning to LIKE running.
You are probably thinking...why are you doing something you so totally don't want to do? Yeah, I know what it looks like. I have lost it. That is a totally legitimate thought and probably would not take much debate to prove true.
But that is not the heart of the matter. See, there is this class at my church that got started in January called Run for God. The leader/author of the book is a friend of mine. I prayed for the class that started in January and silently thought, "Whew. I am so glad I am not in that class."
Guess who is now in the second Run For God class? Yeah, really. It is me.
You cannot really argue with God (don't ask my friend Lynn about this...she says I am the only one she knows who DOES argue with God---and just so you are clear--I don't ARGUE like you would with a spouse--it is more like a whiny child.) when He tells you He wants you to do something.
Well, OK, I might have argued a little with Him. It kind of went something like this...
"Paige, I want you to do this class."
"But God, I am not a runner."
"I know. I want you to do this class."
"Uhm, Lord. Do you not remember what happened in fifth grade when I came in dead last in that 5K?"
"Yeah. I remember. So what?"
"What if it happens again? Can you promise me it won't happen again?"
"Paige, do you trust me?
"Paige? You say you are not a runner and I am asking you to put your fear of coming in last aside, and let go of your contempt for running and do this because I have asked you to. This way, you cannot take any of the credit and you will be completely dependent on me."
"Paige? Are you listening?"
"Yes, Lord. But, I am also crying. I don't want to do this."
"I know. But I want you to."
And so I joined Run for God. It is changing my life. I even have a running buddy!
She is awesome. She is faithful. (She is tall-so her one step is like 10 for me--but she is a great running partner). I love the time I get to hang out with her while we do our workouts. If I did not have her running beside me, I would not have made it through our last few workouts. I have realized how important it was to have accountability.
Then Thursday night, I learned something even more amazing. We did a practice run of our 5K (that we have to run on October 16th). I have no idea how many people were there...but we did our Bible study and then we ran. And as we ran, I was amazed. Sure, my legs hurt and my lungs were screaming at me to stop...but what I heard was God. He was all around us...in the encouraging words of complete strangers; in smiles and pats on the back; in laughter and even in the moans and groans.
That path was full of the face of God--and while it took a while to finish, it did not seem long at all. But Friday, when I drove down the road we had run down the night before, I thought..."Wow, this doesn't feel like it will ever end."
And then it hit me. Any road you walk on alone does seem long. And bleak. And daunting. But fill that same road with the people of God and suddenly it takes on a whole new light.
A holy light.
A light worth running for. A light worth running towards. A light I hope I can help to spread.
All because He asked me to run. And, while at first I said, "No, thanks", He promised me it would be worth it.
And Thursday night, He lived up to His promise (He always does, by the way). He showed me how I can run well WITH Him, but by myself, I am hopeless. He is my strength on the running path and He is my strength in every step I take in life. Without Him, I will never cross the finish line...but with Him...I know I will cross it with my hand raised in honor to Him and a smile on my face (and with my running buddy next to me).
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
(my name is Paige, and I am Running for God!)