Long ago, I used to run…miles and miles…every day. I enjoyed the way it made me feel to have accomplished a long run, to have a strong healthy body, and to clear my mind of the debris of stress. My goal is to feel that way again. It is not easy. My motivation is drained by the distractions of my body’s protests of age and disuse. It is a process. I run as far as I can on my little daily route, stop and note a marker, then I walk. The next day, I push past that particular marker to find a new one. So each day I run a little bit farther. As I approach the marker, I know that it will get tougher, but if I can push past those feelings, the next day I know I will be stronger. I know this from experience. I know that if I keep pushing myself past the edge of my endurance, I will reap the rewards of my perseverance. Mind over Body. I learned this when I was little.
When I was eight, I joined a swim team. I could barely swim. I learned so very much from those millions of laps that I swam during my swimming years. Maybe that is somewhat of an exaggeration….but it sure felt like a million. I learned that daily doses of effort accumulated to yield big results. I learned that not giving up made me stronger. I learned that hard work pays off. I learned that others had the same struggles I did, and each person attacked them in a different way. I watched and borrowed from their efforts, methods, and strategies. With each swim meet and race, I discovered that it was worth the effort. I think that swimming has helped me in many arenas of my life since then. What we learn always has application if we are willing to utilize it. It is not in the knowing …but in the applying that makes all the difference
My struggles with trying to run again remind me that it is the same with my relationship with Christ. I must apply what I’ve learned. I must put in those daily doses of time in devotion, prayer, praise and thanksgiving which will accumulate to yield big results. Although my motivation is drained by distractions from the pull of the world, I know that I must not give up because it is through perseverance that I grow stronger. I watch and learn from others to assimilate some of their strategies that may work for me. The payoff is much bigger in this arena. The stakes are much higher. I know that finishing this race will be more than worth the effort.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4: 7