Last evening, the beautiful Katie Rhodenbaugh and I went on our first run together as training partners. Let me tell you something: it was awesome.
Sundays are our “long run” days. Yesterday was a 6-miler, and we made it! We wove in and out of parks, neighborhoods and crosswalks, and an hour passed, and we snuck onto the country club golf course to drink some water out of white paper cones.
Here are some things I’ve been learning:
1. It’s so much better when someone is running alongside you. In anything, right? It’s so good not to be alone.
2. It feels good to sweat. I’m not saying I love being sweaty all the time, I don’t. But when I’m working hard…it’s not so bad to be a bit more damp than usual.
3. The only way we will be able to finish a race is if we prepare for it. There’s no way in a million trillion years that we would be able to run in this race without training. We have to understand the end goal in order to truly be able to commit to desiring it. I need this in my walk with Christ, as well. So often, I see the end goal as “no more pain”, which is true, in part. But there is so much more to the prize promised to christians than that, isn’t there?! Here I am, running a race to try and just get through it so that I don’t have to feel sore all the time, but how much more glory will there be after that beautiful finish line? I’ve been on a “promises of God” kick recently, dwelling on scriptures in which God promises us, His children, various wonderful things, of which there are tons and tons, way too many to mention in a blog post. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says,
3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine
nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
His glory. We are promised experience of that. Rest, true worship, perfected bodies, minds, dancing…we get these things! Let’s work toward them.
I’m not feeling very eloquent this morning, there are so many other things I feel would be appropriate, even cozy in the context of this post…but they’re stuck in my brain, somewhere between last night’s crazy dream and preparing for the flock of teenage boys that will be invading my house today around 2. Maybe more words will spring through my fingers later. Maybe not. Wait!
4. Not everything in my life has to be deeply poetic or theological. This may be rather obvious, but through conversation with Katie last night on our run, I realized that I’ve been believing a lie that says that everything I think, read, say, feel has to shake me to the core. While my existence is absolutely rooted in deep, rich, beautifully solid truth, there are things that I can do that don’t necessarily have to rock my world. Like reading books. Throughout my freshman year of college, I would guilt myself into only reading books written by famous pastors or theologians. While these books are incredibly useful and an enormous blessing to individuals seeking to learn more about the gospel, the Holy Spirit, how to pray, what to pray, how to find a good, christian spouse (eh?), etc, they are not the only books created by God, right? God gave people the gift of writing to write about all sorts of things. Last week, I began reading The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, a really nice novel written by Aimee Bender. It’s so good! It’s not filling my mind with garbage. It’s beautifully written. I look forward to reading it before I fall asleep. It’s a blessing! It’s a created thing! Just because Beth Moore’s face isn’t gracing the cover doesn’t mean I’m sinning for reading it!* Now, don’t take this as me renouncing my love for theology-heavy books. I deeply enjoy learning from texts written by people who have followed Jesus longer than I’ve been alive. But God is creative, and expresses that creativity through so many outlets, literature being one from which I draw a great deal of enjoyment. So here’s to His creativity through His creation, Miss Bender, and the novel her words have created. It’s really good. Seriously.
*I love Beth Moore