Thursday, July 3, 2008

Endurance


Can't.......go on........pain.........

Gasping for air, I doubled over in the hopes of stilling the pain running rampant down my side. I flopped to the asphalt, wondering who's bright idea it was that I attempt this fiendish plan for self-castigation. I look up at the sky, wondering what heaven must be like, quite sure that if I continued in this, I would find out sooner than I thought.

I am, of course, referring to the act of running.

Running, to me, is rather like watching a lion tamer: I have the utmost respect and admiration for those participating, but would sooner eat sand than do it myself.

I am not an athlete. I will walk miles and miles and enjoy it, but don't ask me to run. I will use an exercise machine daily, and almost any toning program out there--except running.

As a teen, I once thought I'd change that. I got up every morning, and started out. I'd stop to catch my breath--and look down the rest of the driveway, out to the road. Only so much more to go. I kept moving on. Soon I learned to pace myself. To push myself past where I thought I'd die. Eventually I did gain some endurance.

I've long since left the physical running to those more adept athletically than I.

But everyday, I still run.

Not physically--not in the slightest.

My running is spiritual running.

Nearly everyday,I struggle with the same feelings I once had while running on the road. I can't do this anymore. I can't keep waiting on the Lord's timing for my life. I can't keep pouring myself out in service to others. I can't keep being contented where He has me, when I know there are other things I could be doing for the kingdom.

This pain hurts. I can't breathe, it hurts so much. I have no more strength. My endurance is gone.

I just want to collapse and die.

Dramatic, but often that's exactly how I feel.

I

Just.

Can't.

Do.

This.

Anymore.

It's in these moments that Philippians 4:13 becomes the most real to me.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

When I start "collapsing", God reminds me of my brief encounter with physical running. I remember that there is an end to the road. That endurance takes time and effort to build up. That pain is a necessary part of endurance. And that this time, I have more than my own fallible strength to lean on, while I run.

I have His.

So even when the small things get to me--like being in the same place in life for years and years,and wondering when my life will move on, I remember that endurance takes time to build. That God is gearing me up for something later on. He knows how much endurance I'll need.

The best part of running, for me, was seeing how close my driveway was. I only had a few more feet to go. Just a few more.....

But when I run spiritually, I have heaven in sight. I can't see how long it'll be till I'm there. But I know it's coming. And that's worth all the pains of running--even gasping for air--I must face.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

~Miss Deb

1 comments:

Krista July 7, 2008 at 6:20 AM  

Thanks, Deb. I've needed a post like this lately, just for life in general, not even just with the state of singleness. :-P Great post.

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