Running with God

February 3, 2009 denifay7

I would say about a year ago I started running.  I use that term loosely because it was more of a slightly forward, clumsy, attempt at a jog.  It was painful, truly!  I had shin splints, my knees ached, my feet hurt, overall it was a beating.  I scoffed at these runners I saw gliding across the roads, looking smiley and happy.  When I saw someone who wasn’t rail thin and perky trudging down the road, I wanted to yell out a good “Atta boy!” to send them some encouragement.  Now days, I sometimes actually do yell because I know what that encouragement does for me.

You see, I once was a self-professed “exercise hater”.  I was never going to join a gym, I hated to sweat, and I really enjoyed my couch time.  (I still enjoy my couch time!).  But something in me has changed.  I learned a few years ago the true meaning of being able to ask God for anything, and I started doing just that.  The thing is God knows what we want without us ever saying it, so refusing to share it with him is truly one of the silliest things we can do!  So, I started asking Him to help me eat better, to make me like exercise, and then to give my heart the desire to try new things.

Here’s the deal: He did it!  In one of my many examples of ‘Be careful what you wish for!’, God made me a runner!  I would love to share with you that I have completed a marathon in record time, I am no longer in any pain when I run, or that I run miles a day without any trouble; but that is just simply not the case.  Yet, the line that continues to run through my head right now is…”How can I keep from singing your praise?  How can I ever say enough? How amazing is Your love!”, a song by Chris Tomlin (that is on my ipod, see later).

This weekend I completed my first half marathon!  Amazing really!  Did you know that only 1% of the population completes a half marathon? (Thanks Eric for the stat and acknowledging my newfound membership to the club)  Again, I would love to tell you that it was the most wonderful experience of my life and that I glided down the streets of New Orleans with ease and joy across my face.  That’s not exactly how it went!

It started at the start line.  My ipod quit working and I had to pee without enough time to get there and back.  Now let me preface this with what I ‘thought’ my morning was going to look like… Me: Downloaded lots of great tunes, ready to jam, and have some great Sunday morning worship through Audubon park, when it got a little tough I would find a new song to pump me up and would sail to the finish line in just under 2.5 hours.  Reality: no ipod, no music, no worship, no jams, still had to pee and eventually no one running right beside me and encouraging me all the way!  Wait, did I say no one beside me?  That my friends was certainly not the case!

So, say mile 5ish, my sister can no longer hang with my (pathetic) pace and goes on ahead–with my blessing!  I (with no music, and no friends) try to trudge on while looking back for my twin friends that I know are happily jogging along to their tunes and cheering each other on with every step (and they did and it was awesome).  Around mile 6.5 I do find them, ahhh relief, not really, again I can’t keep up.  This is getting more and more disturbing and I feel like a failure.  I’m all alone, everyone is doing better than me and I want to die (maybe a little dramatic, but I’ve been told that before).  Here’s the greatest thing you’ll hear about my race…I was NEVER alone!  I can’t count the number of times that I felt discouraged/abandoned/defeated and without warning someone would run in front of me with a Team 413 shirt on “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  That my friends was God showing up over and over and over again and reminding me that I am never alone.  At one point I felt Him say “You only have to finish and I’ll be here every step of the way!”.  It all gets a little hazy after a few miles, but around 10ish, this group had a radio set up and were jamming.  This guy (with rhythm that I will be forever envious of) was dancing in the street and he and his group were screaming at us to ‘keep it up’, ‘you’re doing great runners’, ‘you’re awesome’!  Suddenly I felt this indescribable tingle go up my spine and I knew again that it wasn’t me moving these imperfect human legs, but the Divine driving me forward.  I pray as I run pretty frequently and these are my prayers…

‘God move my feet’, ‘God fill my lungs’, ‘God keep me safe’, ‘God don’t let me fall’

And I end with telling you that with all my faith, God is so much more faithful, for He moves my feet, He fills my lungs, He keeps me safe, and He has never let me fall.  I’ve told my sister so many times that I like to run alone, but the truth is I never have run alone, but those times when you see just me, know that I am with my God running for His glory!

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