Monday, October 10, 2005

Running and Life

Since I have been training for a marathon, it goes without saying that I have been running a lot. Just the other day I was challenged by my husband to run from our house to the church so that I could pick up our other car (left there after service the night before so that we could ride home together). At first I was mad. It was the middle of the day therefore it was hot and VERY muggy. I didn’t want to. But I did it anyway. It wasn’t a long run or anything (5K-3.2 miles) but it was hot and muggy and I simply didn’t want to (have I said that yet?). Anyway, returning to the point of the story, while I was running the imagery that the Bible uses about running a race and how that relates to life starting echoing in my mind. I gained a new appreciation for those scriptural word pictures. I started relating everything I was thinking about this run to my perspective on life. Here are a few of the correlations:

1.I kept praying for a breeze. I was so hot and sweaty that I just kept asking God to send a wisp of cool air my way. I watched as the 2 clouds above passed a good distance from the sun without even giving me one second of shade. Cursed clouds!!

Sometimes we complain so much about the temperature of our life. We beg God to mild it out, to make it bearable. There are days that we watch those moments of refreshment just pass by, without granting us one iota of time to breathe easier.

2.Then I was granted some wind but it was coming from the wrong direction and it was too strong. It was blowing against me, making my forward motions even slower and harder to take. Blasted wind!!

Sometimes in life we are getting bombarded with stuff that is making each step toward Heaven that much harder. Things like doubt, suffering, unbelief, and heartache slap us in the face and discourage us from continuing on. It becomes a force working against our progress.

3.I am a mile marker runner. I will give myself a focal point to motivate myself toward and once I get there, I will set another goal just further ahead from that. For example, I will run to that tree. Once I get to that designated tree, I will run to that intersection, and so on and so on until I get to the final destination.

It’s always good to pace yourself in life. When looking at the entire task, we can be overwhelmed. But when we concentrate our efforts on what is before us, we are more productive and feel better after accomplishing that goal. That sense of pride will strengthen us to take another step, and another, and so on and so on. Until before we know it, we have made it to the end that before was seemingly impossible to reach.

4.Once I got to the church I realized that despite my poor attitude about taking the run, I felt better about myself having accomplished it. It wasn’t the temperature outside that seemed to be my biggest struggle but the sense of self -doubt I had inside.

Often times we talk ourselves down from the heights we are capable of climbing. Only when we are pushed past what we believe to have the power to overcome, can we see that we are stronger than we think. I’ve heard it said that maybe God gives hardship to some more than others because He knows that they are strong enough to maintain faith throughout it. Maybe you are being stretched b/c you are the most flexible person God can think of.

Maybe you don’t really get into this whole, relating a short run to life thing. But all I know is that despite my attitude and the elements working against me, I accomplished the goal. And for me, that resembles my journey through life more than what I could possibly state for you here.


Nathan G. said...

are you still mad about it? :-)

Bethany Gaddis said...

No Im not. Thanks for making me do it babe!

Randy Elrod said...

i have true empathy and admiration for this post and wisdom...


Iz said...

Bethany, I so needed to hear these words today! This whole business of starting a business...I can't even fathom it at moments. How can I possibly do this enormous task?! But it's all about marking the miles...I'll just run to that tree, then I'll run to that light post,... . I'll just make these calls, then I'll do that task, .... I have no idea what I'm doing, and yet, God Himself chose me for this task. So I must be the one strong enough to do it. Strong enough to run in the heat. THANK YOU for that reminder today!! I sure miss you guys!

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