Monday, September 16, 2013

Up for the Challenge


Last week while perusing Facebook posts, I spied this posted by a friend from high school: "Living and Active 5-week challenge"  -- it sounded interesting. And an icon with running shoes AND a book? That really caught my attention. I mean, really... running and reading are my things. So I clicked on the link and investigated. Let me say first, that lately I've been feeling... depleted. I seemed to have misplaced my mojo for running, and I've been feeling sort of hollow in my spirituality too. So, when I read more about the Living and Active Challenge, I discovered that the basis is tied to both physical and spiritual activity (yeah, that "book" in the icon is THE book, a Bible). I immediately perked up a bit, and it was as if the Lord himself reached down, poked me in the head with his Holy finger and whispered, "Hey... this is for you."

 And so, I am starting this challenge today. I've signed up for the emails, downloaded/printed my first "Soul Food" verse and I'll be heading to the gym shortly for a little one-on-one with the treadmill.

Before I do, though, I thought I would share the importance of what I consider to be the "divine intervention" that led me to a path that can only serve to improve my physical and spiritual health. Granted, thumbing through a Facebook news feed can hardly be considered "from God," but hear me out. I know I was meant to see that post. The same way, several years ago, while running a half-marathon I was all but smacked in the face with a divine message. I was in the "why-did-I-ever-sign-up-for-this-punishment-again" phase, somewhere between mile 6-7. I glanced around and did a visual check-in with the other runners who had been keeping the same pace as I was. Yes, they were still there toughing it out, but my concentration and resolve started to get a little cloudy as I slogged along. Suddenly, two runners came up behind me, one passing on each side of me, and kept pace just ahead of me. I hadn't seen them before. And in longer races like a half, it isn't uncommon to quickly become familiar with those other runners who are keeping your speed. I have no idea where this couple came from, but I would have remembered seeing their matching, brilliant sky-blue shirts before. Then I read the wording on the back of their shirts:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

I nearly stopped running right there out of complete shock. Then I smiled. And I looked up at the overcast, gray sky and thanked Him for the reminder that I could, in fact, get through the next six miles. I know in the grand scheme of things that God has much bigger problems to attend to, but that was a reminder that no problem, big or small, escapes His notice. As much as someone praying for the health of a loved one or praying for peace through a difficult time, I got a visual nudge to have faith and carry on.   

And those two runners ahead of me? At some point I lost them in the crowd. Never saw them again.

Verse for week #1 in the Living and Active Challenge"
"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."   Ecclesiastes 4:12

Gotta run. Literally.

1 comment:

Sheri Carlstrom said...

I love this post. Thank you for sharing the marathon story. my goodness...I love when God reminds us that He cares about all of our lives. Excellent.