Tuesday, July 19, 2011
With each half-marathon I've completed, the training and races have brought forth new perspectives and revelations for me. I'm beginning a new training season. During this past year of running half marathons and training, I've realized how my running mirrors my spiritual walk. Now, God is revealing to me my ability to push myself. It's often said that people give up just before the breakthrough. When I'm running, the last few miles are always the hardest. Sometimes my legs feel like logs (or a sack of bricks). It's miserable. My legs feel heavy and it takes so much energy to get one foot in front of the other. There are some runs when I can't catch my breath or my breathing feels out of control and it scares me. I don't like that feeling so I back off. I've even walked to try to catch my breath. Once I feel like I'm back in control then I can try running again. Recently, Joel Osteen's words are in my mind, "Don't make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling." Some personal trainers insist that their clients feel the burn. I've never operated under that theory. I push to failure or fatigue depending on how I feel that day. Again, those words ring in my head, "Don't make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling." As a runner, I'm never going to get better until I push through that momentary fatigue, weakness and pain.
PUSH. I've heard it before. Jada, you don't PUSH yourself. PUSH. Memories flood my mind of my mama's words about applying myself and not settling for that B grade, I STILL Want That A. Jada, just PUSH yourself a little bit harder and a little bit longer. Stop running with doubt because of the way you feel right now. This feeling is temporary. So, PUSH. When you feel like stopping and giving up, PUSH harder. Running is teaching me so much about myself. During the times when I am flat out exhausted, I find if I keep going there is always just a little more in me. I just needed to PUSH. Maybe, that's what it means to activate your faith. My revelation: Activating your faith is digging down so deep inside and pulling out something that you didn't know existed. God in his infinite wisdom planned our lives and allowed situations and circumstances to PUSH us and bring forth his purpose in us. What's the saying? "Without struggle, there will be no progress?" Well, sometimes God has to force us into a place that doesn't feel good. Before I started running, I couldn't imagine running five miles not to mention running 13.1 miles. Running a 5K felt good. It wasn't too hard. It was something I could handle. Had I stayed comfortable only running a 5K, I would not have realized my strength and my endurance to run a longer distance. I know the heavy feeling and running on empty. I know the feeling when your breath is out of control and you just feel like you have to stop. I also know you shouldn't "make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling." If we give up too soon, we'll never see the purpose realized or the revelations give birth. We'll be just like the people of Israel walking in circles in the wilderness.
In the last few weeks, my running has taught me that it's time to PUSH. It's time to dig in deep and block out the insecurities and PUSH. I'll never realize my potential or my purpose if I run only in my comfort zone. There is a story in the Bible about the woman with the issue of blood. As she pushed her way through the crowd, she pressed on and pursued her healing miracle. The Bible says that when she touched Jesus, she was immediately made whole. Jesus asked His disciples, "Who touched me?" But the disciples were very baffled and said to Him, "Master, look at the crowd around You and You ask, 'Who touched me?'" "No," He said, "someone has touched me with faith because virtue has left My body" (see Mark 5:30-31). As she touched Jesus, God rewarded her. The Bible says that she came forward and confessed everything, and then Jesus said to her: "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace" (Mark 3:34, NKJV).
The woman with the issue of blood had one goal in mind – to get healing. By faith, she PUSHED her way through the crowd towards the one who could heal her, Jesus. Today, I've decided to PUSH. I've decided to PUSH myself and run outside my comfort zone. I know the end result will be a better, stronger, faster runner.
Push Forward, Push Past. Push (andPray) Until Something Happens.
Reference: Press Toward the Mark
I am grateful for the journey.
I am grateful that I have felt the fatigue and felt the burn.
I am grateful I am ready to PUSH.
I am grateful that I had to learn to PUSH.
I am grateful for the wonderful God I serve.