Today was a hard run. I did not want to run. I was tired, sluggish, had a headache and had zero motivation. I wanted to quit after the first quarter mile. I ran my usual route. It’s not like I had never run this terrain before and had to face unknowns. I knew where the hills were; I knew where the flat parts were and even the downhills where I could catch a reprieve. Each day, I run with a set goal in mind of how far and how well I will run. But this morning, I quickly realized my run was not about how well or how quickly I completed my run, but that I simply completed it. The goal was finishing.
The more I wanted to quit, the more I doubted if the run was even worthwhile. I wondered if the pain was really going to be the pay off that I expected. When I had those thoughts, I had to make a determined choice of my will to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I didn’t care what my style or form was nor did I care how fast I ran. All I cared about was that I didn’t quit. I cared that I didn’t stop and sit down, or worse, turn around. Someone jokingly said this morning, “The hardest part of running is putting on your running shoes.” No, it’s not! The hardest part of running is running; putting one foot in front of the other when everything in your mind and body is screaming at you to quit because your are tired, worn and it doesn’t feel like it is worth the effort and pain.
Do you see any analogies in your Christian walk with Jesus? There will be many times when we do not want to face our day. We are tired, worn, confused; just plain over it. There will be times when we do not want the Lord to ask us to run one more step when the doubts, temptations and fears swirl around our feet like ensnaring vines threatening to trip us. I encourage you, rather, I beseech and implore you, do not give up! Don’t worry about how perfectly you’re following the Lord. Do not worry about how quickly you are growing in your faith in the Lord. There will be days when you need to focus on simply putting one foot in front of the other. In order to stay physically fit, my run today will not count towards the next day, next week or next month. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I will have to run again to maintain the health of my mind and maintain my endurance and stamina.
I encourage you to pursue Jesus with your whole heart and all your strength, but don’t forget that He is the one that grants us our faith to follow Him. He grants us the grace so that we can have the courage and endurance to follow Him. When you are tired, fall on Him. Rely on Him. Trust Him. Sometimes, we have to let go of having all the answers and just trust Him. Whatever you are experiencing today, let go and fall into the arms of Jesus, relying on His grace.