I am neither a health nut nor a runner. At least that’s how I used to view myself a few years ago. I weighed in 30 pounds heavier back then!
“Pre diabetes,” my doctor confidently told me after a blood test in October of last year. This was highly annoying on two counts:
- I had already lost about 20 pounds and had maintained the weight loss, pretty much, for a couple of years.
- I like sugar, honey, bread, and all things sweet!
But, I took him seriously. After all, my dad developed diabetes as an adult. It’s my hope to avoid the same, if possible. So, with that in mind I ramped up my dedication to exercise. I also cut out sweets and watched for other types of sugars subtly hiding in other foods I enjoyed.
I’ve lost about 10 pounds more. This morning, as I type, I know that in just a little while I’ll leave the house to go to my first 5K run. Apparently, I’ve become one of those people! You know, the health-nut-runner-types I used to smirk at.
Why take my health so seriously? Because I want to be around to run the race of life God has ordained for me. The glory of God shining through me by loving my family, serving the church, and showing mercy to the suffering is my heart’s desire.
Running a mile, two or three (3.1 miles = a 5K), for this runner is a challenge. After about mile one I kind of wish there weren’t two more to go. Sometimes I stop and walk for a bit and then continue running; but, I keep moving forward enduring to the finish. It’s not easy to keep going when my body is wishing for an easy chair and a bagel.
The race of life can be like this. We move along at a fairly nice pace with our jobs and families and then hardship comes. It can take the form of an illness, a fractured relationship, or even self-induced challenges – consequences of poor choices. We get tempted to shrink back into our easy chairs and coast throughout our lives. Fatigue and discouragement can knock our resolve to serve Jesus backwards into complacency.
We are encouraged, however, in Hebrews 10:36 to move forward in the race of life:
“You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”
God expects those who are in Christ to endure the race of life living for Jesus, serving Him with joy and faithfulness. Though hardships may tempt us to slow down in our service to the Lord Jesus we continue to run the race to the end. After all, Hebrews 10:39 goes on to say:
“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
I realize not everyone can physically run a 5K. Friends of mine have knees that are damaged or other physical limitations hindering them. It very well may be that I mess up something and am prevented from future runs. My ankle, which I broke about nine years ago, sometimes reminds me that it’s suffered hurt in the past. I feel a bit of strain in it even this morning; so, I get it. I realize it’s a grace-gift of God to be able to run today. The truth is, this is not about a physical race, or weight, or pre diabetes; rather, it’s about running the race of faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Will you run with me?