(Courtasy of Google Images)

You’re probably tired of all the spiritual analogy stuff by now.

I know, I know. Move on to something different. Pictures of something.

Those will come. They will.

But tonight I’ve gotta share this. Whether it helps just one person, or no one at all…I need it out there so that I can come back to it some day in the future and go ‘Aha! This is what I’ve been missing! It all makes more sense now!’

I went for my very first training outside. Ever. I never run outside.

This is probably because my view on running outside is as follows:

There is so much more to look at, which is great.

But there are so many more people to look at you.

Umm, no thanks. I’ll stick to the treadmill that is safe inside away from all the staring faces.

But the weather was so nice tonight that I threw on my tennis shoes, grabbed my headphones, and went outside. About 7 minutes in I was FREEZING. I figured I would go a little further and then head home.

It was about this time that I realized I could no longer breathe properly. That was all the reason I needed to go home, so I took a left and started to walk home. The cramps were terrible, my fingers felt like ice, and I was wearing shorts and a tank top.

It was probably around 60 something degrees, but I felt ice cold. When I got inside I got on the treadmill, determined to finish my run.

Week Four. Day Three.

I’m getting closer to my nine week goal, and my 5k is less than a month away. I can’t give up, I had to keep running, training, running, training.

I know you’re probably looking for the spiritual analogy in all this, but hang on. It’s coming. I’m almost there.

Five minutes into running on the treadmill and I couldn’t think of anything but the cramps in my right side.

Almost every time I run (or even jog) my right side will cramp up and hurt pretty bad. But I always run through it. The pain is never so bad that I need to stop and sit down.

Today was different.

Today I hit the nice little Stop Button and staggered over to the bed to sit down. You know how you can’t walk straight after running if you don’t have a cool down jog/walk? That’s what I looked like while trying to get to the bed.

My right side hurt so bad. I couldn’t think of anything else but my side and that I had to finish my run. But it felt like someone was sticking a knife into my side. It’s never been that bad. My thoughts turned from ‘I’ve got to finish my run’ to ‘Maybe I could just finish later. Maybe I could walk the rest of it. I don’t have to run today. I could just skip until Monday.

But I knew I had to get back up and run.

So I did.

I went over to the treadmill, pressed the Start Button, and ran for a minute before the pain was killing me once again. At this point I started to pray something along the lines of ‘God it hurts so bad. Like someone is putting a knife into my side. Why can’t I run through this? It’s never been this bad. You gotta help me run through the pain.’

That’s when it hit me. Out of no where, like I had been running towards a great big blank sign that was suddenly flashing in neon lights:


I’m called to run after God. Every single day of my life. But way too often I take my focus off of Him and the run, and I put it on the pain. The pain in my life, the pain I see in other people’s eyes, the pain felt by those around the world that I will never meet…pain I can never heal.

I take my eyes off Him and I feel the pain. 

When I focus on the pain, the hard or difficult times in life, my run slows to a walk. Eventually I press the Stop Button and then where am I on my walk with God?

We’re all runners. Maybe you’re like me and if you had it your way, you would never run a day in your life. Maybe you’ve never run a race of any length, or you get tired just walking to the mailbox.

You’re a runner.

Has anyone ever told you that?

We’re running through life and if we spend our time on the pain and the bad things, we’ll never get to where we’re meant to be. We’ll never accomplish all we were meant to.

We’ll never reach our fullest potential, or make it as far as we would have if we would just keep our eyes and our mind focused on Him.

“God help me run through the pain to You.”