A very strange idea came to mind last week and it went something like this:
Hey, I think I’d like to go for a run right now.
This has happened to me approximately never.
My running experience according to memes is as follows:
But I laced up my shoes, went to the gym and lifted weights for a while (literally, who am I?), and then went for a run before calling it a day.
Soon after, I heard a quote that helped this “running thing” click into place just a little bit more. If you want someone to run a 4 minute mile, you don’t give them something to run from – you give them something to run to.
As much as I hate running, God continues to meet me every time my feet hit the pavement. Which means I should probably run more often, but we’ll save that for another day. For now, He simply keeps on showing me that each of us, we were born to run. He made us and built us and shaped us to always long for more and desire more. His intention has always been that we would be runners who run to Him.
When I run outside, I often get distracted by the pain in my side, my too-loose shoelaces and the people who might be watching. I forget about the goal and I become sidetracked by making it “just one more step.”
My mind spins elsewhere and my eyes follow, my feet gradually slowing. Everyone else makes it look so easy, am I right? In their cute workout gear, their hair in a ponytail and a perfectly-unsplotchy face as they Instagram while pounding the pavement? And yeah, in the ‘life race’ too, how it so often appears like we’ve all got it together, we’re all succeeding and doing big and impressive things. I start looking at the other runners running their races and forget about my own.
So I’m starting to repeat this over and over as I go: Look up. Keep going. Fix your eyes. Look up. Keep going. Fix your eyes.
There is a time and place to look back at where you have come from, but it would be dangerous to drive while only looking in the rearview. It’s important to run alongside another and with community, but not in competition. Run your race, not hers.
Whatever race you’re in right now, whether you’re limping or on the sidelines, doubled-over in pain or not even sure if you want to run at all, look up, keep going, fix your eyes.
On Him. Only Him. It isn’t about running from, but about running to. And maybe running with, also.
It isn’t easy to practice or to live, but I’ve found that it makes the race so much sweeter and totally worth it. But just in case you need a little encouragement, I’ve scheduled these words to go live while I’m out for a run. I look just like the meme, I promise. But I’m in the race.