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Women Living Well Blog: Running to Win

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, April 6, 2009

Running to Win

On Saturday I did it! I ran in my first race - it was a 5K (3+miles). And it was an agonizing run with big hills, temperatures in the 30's and high winds. I knew I would not be the first to cross the finish line (especially when I saw all the young college students arriving! That was intimidating to this 33 year old stay at home mom!) but - I ran my hardest! I gave it my all. I ran at my max level for nearly 30 minutes and pushed myself as if I was running to win.

I Corinthians 9:24-27 says "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 for ever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

Paul says "Run in such a way as to get the prize." Paul is using the analogy of running in a race to describe how we are to live the Christian life. On race day, I didn't gingerly jog along aimlessly. I had a goal - to keep my eyes fixed on a friend (Kimi- pictured above in royal blue) who I knew was faster than me. My only goal was to keep her in eye sight - and as I ran, I ran with my eyes fixed on her. She ran the first mile at a pace that I could barely keep up with. I found my side hurting and a desire to stop and walk - but I didn't - I pressed on and I stuck with my goal - to not let her get out of eye sight.

As the second mile began, we were also about to climb a hill - I knew I couldn't run that hill. We had practiced on the hill previously and at the pace I ran that first mile - I didn't really have it in me. So - I walked a little - but then I realized she was not walking - she was running - and slowly slipping farther away from me. I saw my goal slipping away - and I picked up my feet and ran - I ran harder and faster than my mind and body wanted to - but my goal kept me going! In the end, she and I crossed the finish line only seconds apart from each other and what did I receive for reaching my goal? Nada! Nothing! Oh yes, a sense of accomplishment - but in the spiritual realm - that is temporary. But I learned a spiritual lesson about how I want to live my life for God.

Paul says, in life "do not run aimlessly!" "Run in such a way as to get the prize." "I make my body my slave so I will not be disqualified from the eternal prize!"

How are you living your life for God - do you run aimlessly - or are you focused on pleasing God. Are you making your body your slave - so that your sinful desires do not disqualify you from heavenly rewards? Or are you a slave to your body and all it's fleshly desires for pleasure and fun.

Are you running hard? The Christian life can be intense with stress, exhaustion, and pain. But you must not give up! You must discipline your body to press on - exert all the energy and strength you have to please God. Do not run aimlessly. Hebrews 12:1-3 are some of my FAVORITE verses and guess what, they talk about a race!

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Do not grow weary, do not lose heart. Having my eyes fixed on my friend kept me in the race when I wanted to give up - Fix your eyes on Jesus. Fix them!!! He will pull you through those hard times. You only live once - RUN TO WIN "a crown that will last forever"!!!

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Anonymous KimmyA said...

I love all the race analogies Paul uses...I wonder if he was runner himself sometimes? I really feel like my downfall for the race sat was lack of training and too much really hit me today reading your blog that that is my downfall in my Christian life too..too much sin bogging me down and not enough "training" in the word. I dont beat me body I do whats comfortable or I'm just plain lazy. I guess its an eye opener for me just now to think in these terms and plan on revamping things in my life so as to not be so bogged down by sin but train so that I can someday be worthy of the prize in Heaven!!
You did so well sat and you pushed yourself big time.All your training over these last few months helped you finish with perserverance and I see evidence of that in your spiritual life as well. Your eyes may have been fixed on me in the race but my eyes are fixed on you (well of course God first) in life. Thanks for your encouragement today and everyday!Love ya!

April 6, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

I know that you had more in you than you gave on race day - but lucky for me - you made it possible for me to stay with you. Everyone has their "on" days and "off" days - so don't be too hard on yourself - I have a funny feeling at the next race this may be a different story!!!

If you had sprinted even once - you would have lost me and if I had lost sight of you I am SURE I would have walked more of the race - because I REALLY wanted to walk that hill but I also REALLY wanted to stay with you.

This is the first time that the analogy of running the race compared to my Christian life has become so alive and real to me. I really want to strive harder too - and not walk this race of life! Keep your eyes on the prize girl! And thanks for setting the pace!!! We all need pace setters in our lives!

April 6, 2009 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Clare said...

Well Amen and Amen is all I have to say!

April 6, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is awesome!! Congratulations on finishing your first race!! We all have our own personal race to win, but the way you compared your running race to the spiritual race was great!! It encourages me to keep going and throwing off the old things and putting on the new. To keep memorizing scripture and listening for God's voice in my life... to stop doing the things that drown out His voice. Thanks so much for being faithful to your blog!!

April 6, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Diana said...

Awesome girls!!! And I'm with Clare--- Amen!!! (oh, and you all looked way too CUTE to have such great finishing times!!! :-)

Even if it doesn't become a big hobby for any of you, hopefully you'll consider coming to the little Mogadore race this summer--- it's a flat 3 miles! I'd be proud to have you guys show up for our small-town race!! Kelly you'll be healed up by then and Clare, knowing you, you'll bring the new little Smith into the world a few weeks from now and be ready to "kick hiney" by then!!!

April 6, 2009 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is "hiney" a word?? :-)

April 6, 2009 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved reading this. Running can truly unlocked so many scriptures in such a powerful way. It really does bring to life the call to overcome & live a life of discipline and focus. I think it has positively affected every other area of my life! It was such a joy to be able to see you ladies through this process. Here's to what a future of keeping our eyes on the prize! AMEN!!! With JOY! Love, Jinka :o)

April 14, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

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