Last week I did something I never thought was possible- I ran a 5k! I know for you ultra-marathoners 3 miles is just a warm-up, but about 3 months ago running for longer than 5 minutes was basically a death sentence for me.
But thanks to my super super patient roommates, I started running. One sloooooow run at a time. A few weeks ago we did our first long run (well long for me).
|Kristen, me, Kensey and Marietta - some of my favorite people!|
After about 40 minutes (and under 3 miles- that’s how slow I am!) I kept yelling at Kristen (who was gracious enough to run at a snail’s pace with me) “Uggggghhhh I hate you. I want to stop. Please let me just walk for 5 minutes. I haaaaaaaaaaaateeee you”
Obviously I don’t hate Kristen. But I wanted to quit so badly and she just kept saying “Keep going! You got this! Don’t stop!”
Kristen always ran a step or two ahead of me, forcing me to keep up so I didn't have to run by myself.
As we neared the end of the trail I could hear the cheers of
Kensey (who speedily ran ahead of us) “You got this girl! Only a little bit
further! Come on!”
“I hate you all a little bit” I yelled, well not so much yelled but kind of whimpered.
And finally after my longest (and slowest) run ever. I fell exhausted on the pavement.
“Thanks for not giving up on me” I whispered through labored breathing.
“You did so great! Angi we are so proud of you! Good job for finishing!” Their encouraging praise kept filling my weary ears.
A week or so later, I laced up my pink shoes, put on my favorite running capris, and got ready for my first ever race.
I nervously checked in and lined up at the start. I looked at
“Promise you’ll stay with me? I don’t think I can do it alone.”
“Yep! We’ll go however slow you need” She assured me.
I knew with one of my best friends by my side, and the encouragement and training from the week before, that I would be able to finish my very first race.
My feet dragged, my breathing was heavy, and my legs felt like lead. But 3.1 miles I crossed the finish line, and checked my time.
|(PS notice how I'm number 5! How funny and awkward!)|
And y’all I’m going to brag for a quick minute, it was a full TEN MINUTES faster than the week before. That is crazy!
The best part? I felt awesome the whole time. Only twice did I tell Marietta I needed to slow down, we ran a bit slower for a minute and then went back up to full speed.
The training paid off. The blood, sweat and tears (literally) paid off. When I crossed that finish line I felt like Chuck Norris. (I definitely get why people love running marathons now!)
Even more than that I felt like I finally got all those references to running a race that Paul talked about.
The finish line was all worth it. The joy of knowing that I accomplished the task set before me was worth the pain.
Believers, our finish line will be worth it. It will be worth it to give up everything for the gospel. It will be worth it to train and commit our lives to seeing God magnified. The struggle, the hardships, the suffering will pale in comparison to the joy of heaven, of hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Run on, friends! Run through the pains and the doubts. Run towards the finish line of faith!
I’m here by your side cheering you on!
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” – Acts 20:24