Keep Running!!

Posted: April 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

I used to run for fun (did that just rhyme?) like literally running for fun, to lose weight, to feel better.  I was pretty good at running and I could even run 3.2 miles without stopping, which was a huge goal for me to reach. Then something happened. I quit.  Why did I quit? I loved running, I loved the way I felt like I was going to die when I finished a run, only not to die, and feel amazing that I just ran the gauntlet of 3 miles without dying! I know that sounds weird right, the thought of I’m about to die and not actually dying is a pretty cool feeling.  It made me think that I can do anything! I can run 5 miles! I never ran 5 miles, I quit running and gained 5 pounds.  Bummer!

The honest truth is that sometimes, well most times, running hurt and it was tough.  I knew that I was about to put my body through what I thought was hell on earth, so I just stopped. What I realized is that even though running was tough it was rewarding.  I was able to go from running a half a mile, to eventually a mile, then two miles and then 3.2 miles.  Had I given up before 3.2 miles I would have never seen the transformation take place.  I did see a transformation take place, but I gave up. I was tired.  I was beaten down by running, and I didn’t want to do it again.

The good news is this year I have started running again, and just like the last time I see the transformation that is taking place. I have lost 12 pounds since I started running again and just like last time I had to work my way from running a half a mile to now I’m at 2.6 miles without stopping.  I ran 2.6 miles yesterday and it was tough, I wanted to quit at a mile, but I didn’t, I kept pushing myself and I was pressing on to the goal of the 2.6 miles ahead of me.  I’m getting my body in shape and again, i felt like I was going to die yesterday, but I didn’t, and I felt amazing afterward.

Why am I telling you this? Do you really care about my running ability? Probably not, but here is something that happens when you run.  It happened to me yesterday.  I wanted to quit but I didn’t.  When I got to 1.5 miles I no longer thought about all the running I just did, I just focused on the rest of the 1.6 miles I needed to run.  Ok, I know, you still don’t understand why I’m telling you this, so here is where I tie my running to your life.  Here go’s, you ready?

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13b

Paul tells us to forget what lies behind.  Our lives are crazy and chances are your life has been a mess in the past.  What we tend to do as humans is to let our past define who we are.  We live in the past, we reflect on the things that have happened to us, or the things that we have done and wonder how we can ever be any different.  Here’s the deal, what’s done is done, that is why it’s called the past.  Instead of living our lives in the now and planning for the future, we stay stuck in the past.  It’s kind of like my refrigerator at home.  We have a half gallon of milk that we didn’t finish. (So now it’s more like a half of a half a gallon, math geniuses can figure that one out) The jug ended up getting pushed to the back of the fridge. We didn’t drink it all, but guess what, that milk is not any good, it’s gross, or as we say in the south, it’s rurnt.  That’s like our lives, if we dwell on our past mistakes, our failures or something someone did to us or said to us then our present lives are like rurnt milk.  We tend to be bitter, nasty and depressed.  We can’t see what lies ahead because our head is turned all the way around like an owl looking behind us.  If I were to run looking back at where I had just been I would run into tree, car or a mailbox.  My run isn’t defined on where i’ve been, but where I’m headed.  Paul tells us to strain forward to what lies ahead.  What lies ahead in your life may not be ideal, there will be struggles, victories and failures, but if we stay in our past, we can’t see what lies ahead.

Here’s the point.  Keep drinking your milk so it doesn’t ruin.  Ok, maybe that isn’t the point, but here is the main point.  Stop looking behind you (unless you are in a poorly lit parking garage late at night). Look ahead to what is to come.  Remember the things of your past but use them as learning opportunities to help you in the things to come.  Don’t let your past define who you are, don’t be burdened by something you did or said.  Don’t let what someone did or said to you keep you down and hurt who you are now.  Stand up and start running! Fix your eyes on Jesus and strain to what lies ahead.  The key word is strain.  When I wanted to quit during my run yesterday I realized that even thought it’s tough, it hurts a little, I’m still going to keep moving.  If I stop I never reach my goal.  Our end goal is Christ.  Verse 14 of Philippians chapter 3 tells us to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of Christ Jesus.

You won’t find that prize behind you.  Keep running, even when it hurts.  Press on toward the goal and don’t let anyone or anything keep you where you don’t need to be.  Your identity is in Christ, not your past.

Steven

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