Run YOUR Race

Head over to my podcast for 5 ways to RUN YOUR RACE!! Seeking God, Loving Others.

“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In 48 hours, I’ll be running my first marathon. I can’t believe that after almost 8 months of training it’s time. It’s time to run my race. My training has been interrupted more times than I care to remember but I’ve made it through.

I’ve learned so much over the past few months about both running and life. Many of the blog posts I’ve written were worked out during a run on the trails.

As I’ve been preparing for this race, I’ve come across Hebrews 12:1 quite a bit. In fact, the planner I use has a monthly verse and this month’s verse was Hebrews 12:1! Coincidence? I don’t think so.

This verse is such a powerful reminder that each of us has our own race to run that God has marked out for us. But many of us are too busy looking at other people’s races and envying their results.

I’ve found it so freeing actually running my own race. Both physically and spiritually. I use a running app that is basically like Facebook but for runners. We can see our friends’ runs and comment and like but I’ve heard many people say they feel bad about their own run after seeing others’ stats.

When we compare ourselves to others, it actually slows us down in our own race. We end up doing too much too soon or losing focus on what God wants us to do.

If I look at and envy the free time my friend has while her kids are at school, I won’t be content in homeschooling my children even though it’s the race God has marked for me.

If I envy the lavish vacation someone on Facebook posts, I won’t be content with sticking to the financial goals God has marked out for my family.

When we run the race that God has marked out for us in our homes, business, career or family, we can trust that he has everything figured out.

I know a few people who have a running coach. If ever I win the lottery, that will be one of my splurges. A running coach can create a plan tailored specific to your goals. You don’t have to think about what workout you need to do or how far you need to run; you just look at your plan. And if something comes up that interferes with your training, your running coach adjusts things and moves them around.

Now, a running coach is not in my budget (yet) but I do have access to someone who has created a tailored plan for my life. I don’t have to worry about what city to live in or what job to take, I can just look at his plan. I don’t have to know how long it will take for my blog to get noticed or my book to get published. I can look at his plan and know that “he who began a good work will carry it to completion” (Philippians 1:6).

When something interferes with my race, he can move things around so that “all things are working together for my good” (Romana 8:28). If you haven’t caught on, I’m talking about God! God has every detail of my life, and yours, mapped out and when we stay in our lane, stay in his word and stay in his presence, we WILL run our race and run it well.

Run Your Race

I recently began running again after almost a year off due to the pandemic. I am a new runner. I started in 2018 and have run a few races, including a half marathon. When I started I could barely run a quarter of mile without feeling like a lung was going to fall out of my body, so when I ran 13.1 miles (well, 13.84 miles, the course was off #humblebrag), I couldn’t believe I had come so far.

Fast forward to 2021, and I feel like I’ve never run. EVER. In my life. I’m slower, I’m tired, and it is hard. I just want to wave a magic wand and go back to where I was this time last year. 

But I can’t. And sometimes, that’s discouraging. I looked at the numbers from my half-marathon and saw that my slowest mile of the 13+ plus miles was still faster than my current mile! I had to make a decision: Give up and just live in the past or keep moving and get better everyday.

I chose the latter. 

I was reminded of a verse in Philippians about what I was experiencing. The people who know me well know that I have a verse for everything! There’s no situation I’ve come across where I was unable to find comfort and guidance in the Bible.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (PHIL 3:13-14)

While it can be helpful to look back from time to time to remember and reflect, it is not always beneficial. It’s easy to get trapped in the mistakes or failures from years ago or envy a better time of your life. But the apostle Paul would tell us not to waste time on things that don’t propel us to our destination.

When I looked at my racing numbers through a different lens, I was encouraged to know that since I trained and got better before, I could do it again. And I could do it better. What’s in front of you is going to be better than what’s behind you.

We all go through ups and down but what matters is whether or not we move forward through them. Don’t allow yourself to get trapped in the closet of the past. Put one foot in front of the other and run your race.