“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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” Hebrews 12:1-2a (ESV)
It’s been almost 3 weeks of running with Jesus. Three 30 min runs each week plus the “big run” (or the “too long” run as I like to call it). That adds up to 25 hours and 40 minutes of talk time.
That’s right. No I pod of music to listen to. No books on cd. No running buddy to chat with. It’s some serious quality time of viewing creation and talking with God.
I won’t say it’s been easy breezy. Because I was pretty sure I was going to pass out on the 10th hill of my “too long” 8 mile run. Felt the regret of doing too many calf raises on a cross training day. Laid down my pride and walked when my strength was gone. And have wondered countless times how I am going to really pull this marathon off in the end.
But God has been good to me. I love that in all my doubt. Fears. Weak parts. He gives strength. Peace. And purpose.
In one of our many conversations within the 25 plus hours I asked God, “What am I running for? I feel I am running in vain. Sure, it will be cool to say I have completed a marathon, but because You laid this on my heart, I believe there is more to be gained.” I thought of all the “Run to fight diabetes”, “Run for cancer research”, and the list goes on and on. People are running. Overcoming. And finishing with purpose. “I want to run with purpose.” I said. “And not just any purpose, but Your purpose.”
The phrase “Run fast” came to mind. It was definitely not the word fast having to do with speed (getting one foot in front of the other in a bouncing rhythm is about all I shoot for.) It was a biblical fast.
Go with me for a minute to understand this challenging word fast. Unger’s Bible Dictionary explains the word fast is from the Greek word nesteuo, meaning “to abstain.” Like in the book of Esther, the Jews were called to abstain from food and drink in a time of spiritual trial (Esther:4:16).
The Bible gives examples of God’s people combining fasting and prayer. King David wrote that he “humbled [him]self with fasting” (Psalm:35:13). This spiritual discipline was used and is still used to draw God’s children into deeper communion and committment to Him. It reminds us we are not self sufficient. We can be pulled to other earthly things to satisfy instead of the true source of life. Jesus.
Through the course of multiple 30 minute runs, this “Run fast” phrase was on repeat in my mind. This seemed to be God’s answer to my question, “What is my purpose for running?” I could run to “abstain from”_____, praying for the purpose of________.
I began to contemplate what I would be abstaining from: A conversation came to mind. A was talking with an acquaintance about how it is difficult to live as a mother without going into stressing, worrying mode. She said, “I know, but that is the reality of life. There is no way to live without worry and anxiety.” My heart sank. Mainly because I believe so many of us women can fall into this trap of anxiety, thinking there is no other way. But I trust God and His Word and the truth is that we do not have to live with anxiety. He desires different for His daughter’s.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 (NIV)
I wanted to live differently than the “reality” of the world’s ways. As I run, I am praying through any area of anxiety that comes to mind. I am abstaining from anxiety/worry, for the purpose of gaining peace. I am on a Run Fast. I am praying for myself and all of my sister’s in Christ as I train for and run this marathon, that there would be a breakthrough of the bondage of worry.
Join me in a Run Fast as you train for a race this summer! More details to come my friends.
© 2012 Standing on Peace