Running the Race

Okay….for those of you who read this a lot and know me well, you probably know that I am in the beginning stages of training for a marathon, which I hope to run at Disney in January.  As I go through this training I’m starting to see more and more the way my relationship with God is exemplified through out my life.

I feel like I treat my relationship with God like I do my marathon training.  I feel like I have every day as a “training” day and as long as I complete the training, them I’m good for that day.  But after week one I’m starting to see that running is not the only thing that is part of training.  Everything from what I eat to my rest habits to the way I spend my time when I’m not “training” all plays a part in the role up to race day.  The same goes for us and our relationship with God.  We all try to put “God’s training” in a box.  We make it a check list of do’s and dont’s every day.  I fail to realize that everything I do exemplifies and portrays Christ, weather or not people can see me do it.  So everything I am doing is either beneficial to my relationship with Him or detrimental.  We feel that if we just can finish that check list of things every day, that we are doing our “Christian Duty.”  I’ve come to realize that one, I don’t even do all the check list things with God on a daily basis and two, even when I do, it feels forced and ultimately draws me farther away from Him because I’m trying to earn something or impress an unimpressable God.  It’s like I have this attitude that if I can do enough “God” things per day, that God will be happy with what I have accomplished.

As I train I start to realize that there are days that I honestly don’t feel like training.  There are days where I struggle to put on my shoes and run out the door.  Then as I complete it, I start to feel better and I start to feel good about what I have accomplished.  Not because I can check it off my list, but because I feel more prepared after doing the training.  I even feel better about the 26 mile run that is coming up in a couple months.  I say this because I see that this is how God and our relationship is run.  There are days where we don’t want to spend time with Him, we might even think that it would be a waste of time to read or pray, yet God calls us to do it I believe.  He talks about those who love Him will do what He commands.  Also, I feel that just like any relationship, yours and Gods will be rocky.  Just as much as I know that mine and God’s is rocky.  And I know, it sucks to hear that.  If you believe that every day in your relationship with God should be perfect, you’re sadly mistaken, and I also think if you use this as a justification for why your relationship with Him is not great, I would recommend taking a look at what has priority in your life.

In Acts 20:24, Paul says, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Jesus has given us a task to complete, and every day we go on living and being in relationship with Him on this earth is “training.”  I believe that God is preparing us for things we can’t even imagine.  I also believe that He is preparing us for things here on Earth that we don’t realize.  We “train” to be ready to compete.  In case you haven’t noticed, life is a battle, a competition if you will, with sin.  It tries to come between us and God.  If we’re not training constantly and ready to go, we will lose these battles, I’ve been seeing it way too often in my life lately.

So as I continue to train for this marathon, I will have to keep in mind that there are greater things out there that I am training for, and that it is all possible by a God who loves us so much that He is willing to give us the ability to compete even when we are so unworthy.  I’ll leave you with this, from 1 Corinthians 9:23-25.  “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Cheers,

Brandon

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