As I sit in my office today writing this blog, I have had time to reflect on the journey that was my 8th Half Marathon. This year I chose to go back to Kansas City and run a race I have done twice before. I chose to do this for several reasons: It is a place I am comfortable with, they had a new course this year, and there are a lot of great coffee places to visit before and after the race. This year was an enjoyable time for me going through the process of training, preparing mentally and physically for the race, and running a race that I would get a new personal record. As I sit here though reflecting on it I can’t help but think about the parallels that are present between the race and my faith journey. Let me explain.
So often as a runner I need a plan to stick to when it comes to training for a big race. This helps me stay consistent and avoid burn out. Often in our faith we need the same thing. How often have we tried to read our Bible more, pray more, or maybe we even started something and failed because we didn’t have a plan to begin with. Often in running, I know that I’m not an expert and I rely on others to help me map out a plan. Here at FCC we have done that when it comes to reading our Bible with our Journals. This maps out readings in a Snack, Meal, and Feast plan. It sets you up to stay consistent and to run the race.
Having a plan isn’t the only aspect I see as similar. At these big races they have pacers to help you reach your goals. These are experienced people, ones who run all the time, some are olympians, record holders, and just good at what they do. They are individuals who have put in the work and want to help you succeed on race day. In our faith, don’t we need the same thing? Don’t we need those people who have been there and gone through it to come along side us and help us out? That is one of the reasons community is such a big deal. In those moments of running we are in it together and in our lives we should be doing the same. We should come along side people and let others come along side us to help us reach our goals.
The last part that I was say I see a big parallel is we all need
encouragement. All of us understand life is hard. At times, running can be hard. In Kansas City, those hills kept coming and they were hard, but there I was at mile 9 knowing I had 4 miles left to go. Standing on the side of the road was a couple I have known since I was a little kid named Dave & Karen Coen. He would be the unexpected encouragement I would need at that moment to continue to push on. Often in our lives we know it will become hard. In those moments we just need a kind word from others to help brighten our day and push us on. The people that lined those roads helped me finish the race, will you be one of those people to help others in their lives do the same?
Running is something I enjoy, but honestly my favorite part of
running is the community it forms. In Kansas City, I had so many great
conservations about so many things with so many people. The community is the part that makes running fun for me. It is that community that gives me a platform to share my faith out on the road. I truly believe God made us to be in community with others. The question becomes who are you going to help on their journey, go through life with, encourage, and
celebrate when they finish the face? It is time to the run the race of life as a community.