It seems that almost every time I run, I discover a new parallel between running and life and I no longer wonder why Paul likened christians to runners. Every time God shows me another facet of the connection between running and my relationship with Him, I get so excited by the creative and incredible God we serve and the many ways He speaks to us. Although none of these ‘discoveries’ are exactly revolutionary, I find them worth sharing to encourage others like they encouraged me. So, as these parallels surface, I’ll do my best to share them.
While running the other evening, I caught myself looking at the ground a lot and feeling mentally weary of my run. I then remembered a running tip I had heard; this tip advised that looking ahead while running instead of looking at the ground made running easier and more enjoyable by giving the runner a focal point and goal rather than just the narrow monotony of the ground in front of them. Consequently, I began to look ahead of me and found that this advice was quite true; my run became twice as enjoyable and went by much faster.
As I was pondering why this was, I realized that life is much the same. If we spend our whole lives never looking past what is directly in front of us, so wrapped up in our current struggles, we will lose our focus. Although we need to glance down now and then to check our footsteps and keep from tripping, if we never look around us, we’ll never be able to soak in the beauty that God has surrounded us with. Just like on my run, when we lift our eyes off of ourselves and our present situation, we begin to not only appreciate our surroundings, but are able to look ahead at the reason we are even running.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 2:2 If, as we run the race of life, we fix our eyes on Jesus, not only will our ‘run’ have a goal, but it will be more fulfilling. Rather than getting bogged down in the details of life, I want to run for the joy set before me, knowing someday I will stand before my Creator and longing to hear Him say ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2