In 2005 I began what would be a short running career. By the end of 2007 I had run 3 half marathons and countless other 5 and 10k’s. Although I never even considered running before. I learned to love everything about it. The alone time with God. The way my body was beginning to tone up. The feeling of accomplishment after a race. But in the Fall of 2007 I decided to return to school after 19 years and thus my running shoes would begin to gather dust.
As I ran my races I began to notice that I was a creature of habit. As the race began and the crowd dispersed I was usually left behind. My body never believed me when I tried to convince it that we were runners. I would find my rythym and take my place on the white line at the side of the road. As I would run (using that term loosely) I began to think about the symbolism of that line and relate it to my journey with God.
I would think about how God’s plan for my life is like that line. It is there to protect and guide me. But along the way there are obstacles that will try to interfere with my goal. If I just keep my eyes on the line then I won’t lose my way. Along the way I come across curves and intersections…mud puddles and potholes...accidents in my path that bring me to a complete halt… And more times that I care to admit I get so confident that I believe I can do this on my own. I take my eyes off the line and look to the crowds around me to show me the way. But while the crowd begins to encompass me and I lose sight of my safe white line I get nervous and I look down to find that without even noticing I am now standing on a yellow dotted line and I panic. It is easy to follow the yellow line with a crowd around you for safety but what about when I am all alone? What if this yellow line becomes my normal? I know people that choose the yellow line. They seem to be constantly weaving and ducking and ultimately getting injured only to crawl their way ahead to get up and do it again. I begin to yearn for my white line.
God has created us to draw near to Him. When we are closest to Him we feel safe and secure. We feel encouraged and hopeful. It is much too easy to follow the groups around us that lead us into sin. But He tells us to throw all of that off. Because when we are free of all that junk than we can RUN the race He marked out for us. There have actually been times during my “running career” where I felt like I was running. When I didn’t worry about how I looked or the people around me. Those are the times that I am the most at peace as a runner. That is the life that I long for. I want to know that He is guiding my steps. And we know that the medal at the end will be better than anything imaginable.
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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.
Hebrews 12: 1-2