I’ve been on a mission during the last several weeks/months, and it’s been an exciting one for me. God has been teaching me so much . . . not just in running . . . but in life itself.
The first thing God is teaching me is to set goals for myself. My goal with running is to run at least one 5K outside in less than 40 minutes by the end of this year. So far, my average has been around 42 minutes. A few weeks ago, I started setting a weekly goal of getting below 42 minutes. I’m still running three times per week and strength training at the gym twice a week. The first week after I set that goal of 42 minutes, I ran a 5K in 41:59! I met my goal by ONE SECOND!! I’m sure you can tell that I was beyond elated. The second week, I ran the same distance . . . outside . . . in 40:47. I’ve still got some work to do, but I am so close. With God’s help, I know I can do it. I’m also learning to set attainable goals for myself in other areas. In order to do that, I make lists of things I want to accomplish each day. When those things are done, I check them off of my list. Making lists helps me to avoid procrastination.
The second thing I am learning is the importance of sharing my story with other people. I recently met a couple whose baby was born with severe clubbed feet just like mine. I shared with the young father some of the things I experienced while growing up. I encouraged him by saying that even though my experiences were not a walk in the park, I am living proof that his child will be okay. I also told him I started training to run 5Ks, and the look on his face was priceless!! You may not have clubbed feet, but whatever you have faced in life, think of all you have learned from it, and thank God every day for the things He has taught you. Don’t be afraid to share your story with others. All of us are survivors of something. There is someone in this world who needs to hear what we have to say. We may not know who that person is; only God knows that. All we can do is to share what we’ve learned each time the opportunity presents itself. We never know how we may be able to help someone else.
The last thing I am learning as a Christian is the importance of sharing God’s Story. If God thought His Story was important enough to share with us in a Book that has been in existence for over 2,000 years in multiple languages worldwide . . . and not just any Book . . . but His Word . . . the Bible, how can we not share His love and compassion with everyone we meet? Sharing God’s Story does not mean shouting it from a pulpit or yelling it from a street corner. It doesn’t mean just wearing a cross around your neck. It means reaching out to neighbors or friends in need. It means being faithful and dedicated in your job. It means encouraging your coworkers in any way you can. It means not getting involved in gossip or anything else that tears others down. It means asking God and others to forgive you when you know you’ve done wrong. It means doing what you can to live out your faith before your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers so that they can see God’s love in and through you. We don’t have to announce our faith in God over a loudspeaker. Others will see it if we remain faithful to His Word.
The keys for success I’ve mentioned are not a magical “cure-all” formula that will automatically make life easier. We will all face hardships of some kind until the day we die. It’s what we do with those hardships that makes all the difference.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!! Until next time . . . let’s keep on running!!