Church of God
As a pastor, I realize some people believe that Christians are flawless and don't make mistakes, but many Christians find themselves struggling to do right. I can honestly say, I'm far from perfect, but I have learned to endure. You see one of my hobbies is running. Not the kind of running with a ponytail swinging in the wind with a beautiful smile. I'm the red faced ugly runner that looks like I need oxygen and an ambulance. Just saying.
I recently turned 50 and finished another 5k run. It was a hard run and I wanted to quit. You see I was not racing anyone and learned not to judge my pace by others. I focused on the goal which was to finish. It was not pretty and I'm exhausted.
Life is full of hills and valleys and I've learned as a runner that I prefer to run on flat ground but have learned that is not practical, especially on race day. Some evil person came up with a concept of hill repeats to help build endurance. Hill repeats is where you train by running up and down hills which is not too fun.
In life, we have mountain tops and valleys. Our valleys or Life's trials are intended to make us stronger. So when you find yourself struggling just know God loves you and is building you up. No pain no gain.
Hang in there and know God will bring you through it. It may be ugly and you may feel exhausted at times. But crossing the finish line is worth it. God bless.
This morning we ran a 5K race in Lakeland and at the start of the race there were a good number of runners that ran a little slower than me and became obstacles more or less. I had to dart in and out and sometimes run in the grass to keep my pace which ultimately slowed me down.
Life is that way. Full of obstacles that can hinder your walk with the Lord. This morning I could have quit or been frustrated; nevertheless, I found that dodging between runners took my mind away from worrying about the race. After a little while I broke free and ran my pace and had a pretty good time considering. I'm sure many would say, how did you do?, what was your time? In fact, I was asked awards by a stranger how I performed. I promptly said "I finished." "My race, my pace" is a quote I really like.
You see we were celebrating Jacob Joyner, who came in third. At no point did Jacob's faster pace make me feel bad about my pace because I finished. Don't get me wrong, I'm as competitive as they come, but I know my body and my current ability.
Our journey should not be compared to others. There is always someone who is faster or better. I've found that in life I must focus on the goal, not the rough road I'm running on or what others are doing. Otherwise I will find myself disappointed and frustrated as I compare myself to them. If the truth be told, many of the people you idolize have issues bigger than you. It's not healthy and a sin to covet.
When I focus on the goal it is like focusing on Jesus in my spiritual walk. He makes the race of life easier. To clarify, the path is the same, winding roads full of obstacles. He makes it easier because he runs with me. Often he leads me, at least when I allow Him to do so. Today, Wende, Jennifer and Jacob ran with me. We all had different times, we all ran our own paces, but I draw strength from them.
If you are struggling in life, find yourself a running buddy. For clarity, a running buddy encourages you, and makes you want to do better. They don't tear you down or make fun of your trips or spills. When you fall, they pick you up.
The bible says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens us." What a powerful word! Find your pace with God and focus on the goal rather than the obstacles and you will find a joy and peace that passes all understanding.
... let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1