You probably don’t know this since I haven’t blogged in a blue forever, but I’m training for a half marathon!
I ran 10.2 miles this afternoon. It was my longest run ever. I realize more and more that when people say it’s mostly mental, they are right. The days I set out to run 3 miles, I can run just 3 miles. The days I set out to run 8, when I get to that 3-mile mark, my mind knows I still have 5 to go. So, I don’t let myself get tired. I have to mentally prepare to run that next 5 miles.
During mile 9 of my most recent run, I started thinking about a lot of things.
I have been running on one of Nashville’s “greenways”, so there are lots of people walking—with strollers, dogs, etc.—and lots of people biking and running. When, I pass other people on my run, they have no idea whether I’m on mile 2 or mile 10. Honestly, I look about the same on both miles. I definitely don’t feel the same on the inside. I’m fairly miserable by mile 10 and hurting badly. I want it to be over. However, from outside appearances, I could be on mile 2.
This made me think about life. When we encounter people, we don’t know if they are on mile 2, mile 10, or somewhere between. We don’t know how long their sneakers have been hitting that pavement over and over.
We don’t know if she has wanted a baby for 5 years but struggled with infertility.
We don’t know if she was ready to be married 10 years ago but is still waiting for God to provide that right match.
We don’t know if he has waited 7 years to reconcile with a family member who isn’t open to reconciliation.
We can’t judge how long each has carried those burdens, how long each has waited on God to answer that specific prayer.
But God knows.
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)
My race (and your race) has been specifically marked out by God. Even before I was born, he knew the challenges I would encounter and the specific struggles I would face.
But I don’t have to do it alone.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
Consider what Jesus faced. For his entire life, he knew that mile 10 was coming. He knew that his destiny was the cross. That is absolutely unimaginable. He endured that cross for us.
I don’t know how much longer my shoes will hit the pavement…
I don’t know how many more miles I will have to go…
I don’t know how much longer I will have to wait for that answered prayer.
But I plan to keep my eyes on Jesus. Because if anyone understands, he does.