i had been told by several people that the more i run, the more illustrations/lessons i would have to relate to my own spiritual walk. well on our long run day of 8 miles i was hit square in the gut (literally) and right in my spiritual heart.
we were a little over 6 miles and we only had .10 of a mile before we were to turn around and head back to the start. one-tenth of a mile and i was almost home free for the day. that’s all, one-tenth, but that is where i hit a running brick wall. i had done so good in my long runs up til then, but to cap this day off with a great run, i needed to get through .10 of a mile that seemed to have me beat.
usually a tenth of mile it seems like nothing, but on this long run day, it was everything. i didn’t have it in me and as i began to give up my attitude got ugly. i was mad and pleading with my coach to skip this tenth and just go ahead and turn around. how could this tenth be so important that we had to run it completely? my coach didn’t budge. actually she told me if i focused more energy on running instead of whining, i could conquer this tenth. i didn’t. i choose to continue the onslaught of complaints and questions for what seemed like miles. (i am still not convinced that my coach didn’t stretch out this tenth, just to teach me a lesson.) i threatened to quit numerous times, and even tripped on a wooden bridge when i resorted to making childish faces at my coach. mature right? everything in me wanted to skip this last short distance and begin a new direction, but it wasn’t coming until i persevered to the end of this tenth.
then it happened. after hours (i exaggerate… mere minutes) we were able to turn around and head home with one last mile to go. my demeanor immediately changed. i was downright pleasant, because i could see the light at the end of this long run tunnel. i refused to congratulate myself, because quite honestly i had made a fool out of myself about very little that day. as i meditated on these events the following week, God gently, yet clearly related it to my spiritual walk and ministry.
i am consistent in going just far enough for good while refusing to push through to the great He has for me. it gets tough and i threaten to quit or i beg to run in a new direction. if i don’t get my way i pout, whine, and yes act quite childish. my persistence grows frail and my passion proves weak. time after time, i settle. but, i serve a God who promises “exceedingly, abundantly more than i could hope for or imagine” and He longs for me to push through the pain, endure til the end, and seek Him as my prize.
so before i start running a new direction, i want to faithfully run out the last tenth He has for me in each personal and ministry path. with His help i long to lay down my grumbling and complaining and just put one foot in front of the other. He is worthy. He is faithful. He is the Great I AM to run after.
what about you? do you ever struggle to finish strong, because of the last difficult bit of journey? am i the only one that can throw a childish temper tantrum, because i rely too much on self to finish strong? where has good won out to His great in your ministry or walk?