I used to be a runner. I was one of “those.” I ran because I loved it. There was a certain point in which I thought I might run forever…and ever. I even ran in the rather steep hills surrounding San Diego working up to 9 1/2 miles a day in my mid-40s. The beauty of the surroundings and the private time with God was delightful. I miss it.
I can’t run any more – doctor’s orders. Time is catching up with me and sometimes just rolling out of bed causes back pain. My knee gives me fits every once in a while, but the real kicker came when I developed floaters and flashes in my eyes and I was told that excessive jarring (operating a jack hammer or garden tiller or simply running) might result in a detached retina.
So, alas, now I just walk. But I do walk. I don’t just walk for exercise. I walk to do things, like shopping or banking or getting my hair done. In Europe, that is not strange. Europeans walk everywhere. In America, some well meaning person is always stopping me asking if my car has broken down. Am I OK? Do I need a ride? They find it hard to believe I walk because I want to.
I have made a discovery. The slower I have to go physically, the more determined I am to stay on the racetrack spiritually. I have more time behind me than I have ahead of me. There is no time to waste. What I do I want to count for God. So, where I meandered along slowly in the past thinking there was lots of time for God to point out things to me, I realize now I need to move faster. I want to know God better and I want to know Him better now.
Honestly, lately, I have thought how sad it is that because of my lack of spiritual exercise I wasted time:
- times when God was right beside me and I ignored His presence
- times when He was trying to teach me something and I was unteachable
- times when I stopped altogether because I didn’t want to make the effort to get to know Him better
- times when I could have spoken for Him and kept my mouth shut
Obviously, I can still trip myself up on the track, but I am determined that with the time I have left, I want to pick up the pace. My physical endurance may have waned, but my eyes are on the goal. I am determined to keep moving.
The Apostle Paul likened our Christian life to a race and talked a lot about the discipline of the journey. Jesus did most of His work in little over three years. He rested physically, to be sure, but He never stopped moving spiritually. God provides the endurance. There is a prize waiting.
. . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1) . . . I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14 NKJV).