Saturday, May 19, 2012

Running the race . . .

Today I had my first race since I hurt my knee a couple of months ago.  I had not run much in the last 4 weeks (a total of less than 1 mile), so I wasn't expecting much from the race today.  In fact, I was hoping not to embarrass myself too badly, and not hurt my knee too badly.  Not the highest of aspirations, I know.

So they called out "Go!"  And I went.  And I almost tripped over the walkers a few rows ahead of me.  And I went again.  I was judging speed by my Nike Speedband and my stop watch.  After about 1/2 a mile, I figured was running just under an 8 minute mile pace and breathed a sigh of relief that I would not be embarrassed as long as my knee held up.

Then I hit the 1 mile marker.  I looked at my Speedband, and it read .86 miles, just as they told me my time at the 1 mile mark was 6:56!  The knee was feeling good, and I had a second wind to run, so I kept going.  My legs wanted to quit because they hadn't worked like this for a while, but my breathing was calm and comfortable (at least considering I was running).  I hit the 2 mile marker at 14:10, meaning 7:14 for the second mile - I'm used to slowing down on the second mile, and this was less than normal, so I kept running.  I'm not sure what my time was at mile 3, but my finished time was 22:25, meaning around a 7:30 pace for the third mile and little bit.  Without thinking I could, I got a new personal best 5k time.

What is the point?  Well, I could have written off the race.  I could have walked when my legs got tired.  I could have given up and not even run today.  But I chose to run (Mostly because I didn't want to 'waste' the entry fee).

As a Christian, I have a race before me.  Sometimes, I don't feel like running.  Sometimes, I want to walk and take the easy way out.  But God wants me to run my race.  I don't have to worry about the results.  I don't have to worry about embarrassing myself.  I just have to run.  I hope we can each run our race that God has set before us in the coming week.  Won't you join me?

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

God's Way . . .

"For with God, nothing shall be impossible." - Luke 1:37

Sometimes, I understand this statement.  Other times, I think I may only be paying it lip service.  Have you ever looked at something and said, "Well, if God would do this, and this would change, I can see it working out."  We start figuring things out in how we can see it working, and we forget God's plan.

I recently heard of a young man who was studying in a Bible College.  His mother was fighting a battle with cancer and had just heard some bad news from her Doctors.  The young man had enough of the stress in his life and told everyone that he was dropping out of Bible College, and he was stepping away from his faith.  He was turning his back on God and could not understand how God could be considered love.

As I was processing the story, I 'knew' what needed to happen.  God needed to spare his mother.  Or maybe give her a chance to express her faith to her son and help him understand.  Or maybe . . . . .

A few days later his mother died.  In my small mind, this would have meant that all hope was lost.  He would never be in any church ever again.  Completely lost for the cause of Christ.  But not with God.  Through the mourning process for his mother, he came to understand God's love in more than a factual statement sort of way.  He experienced God's love as only a person who has lost a loved one can.  Rather than lose his faith, his faith was strengthened.  Rather than turn his back on God, he turned to God with more passion.

Life can get us down sometimes.  We can think that the only way out has passed us by.  That the only solution to our problem is completely out of our reach.  But the solution is never out of God's reach.  He never runs out of ways to make the thing work out.  Nothing is impossible for Him.  Nothing.

"Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, 
which he will shew to you to day: 
for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day,
 ye shall see them again no more forever."
 - Exodus 14:13

That was the big deal that Israel faced.  A pile of well armed, well trained Egyptians.  No human way out.  But God is a God of even the impossible.