Well about a month ago I started running again. And to be honest...I haven't been loving it like I used to. It has been both harder and hotter than before.
At first I was discouraged and thought, "It hasn't been that long since I was running--and I am starting all the way at the beginning!! This should be easy breezy!" But it wasn't. The first week I had stomach pains at the end of the run. And total I had ran 1/2 mile. In 1/8 mile increments with 1/8 mile walks in between.
I thought to myself, "If I can't run 1/8 mile without aching...how am I EVER going to run even one mile???" On day two I was laying on the bed after the "run" thinking, "It is only 7:30 AM--my kids haven't even woken up yet and I don't think I will be able to move all day.
I also thought to myself, "The next couple of weeks will get easier and I will enjoy this again."
Well I am on week 5 and let me share a couple of things with you. It has NOT gotten easier. At the end of every run I am a red-faced, sweaty, heavy-breathing mess. In the middle of every run I am thinking, "I am not going to be able to finish this today!" And at the end of every week I doubt whether or not I will be able to do the next week's run. (It goes up every week...and daily within the week.)
I use my running time as a time to casually talk with God. And that part I have enjoyed. But I have prayed that it would get easier and that I wouldn't just be suffering through it the whole time. And he has, at least thus far, said "Nope!" I really sense that he is telling me, "No I am going to teach you something through this but you have to endure. I have made this HARD for a reason."
As I would be running this week and I would start to become overwhelmed by the distance left (or how much farther the distance of tomorrow's run is compared to today's and how hard today's already is), God has been telling me, "Just focus on this step. Can you do this step?" And I think, "Well, yes, I can do this step." And he starts to refocus my heart. He reminds me, "Don't look at what is up ahead. Focus on where you are right now. We can worry about that part when we get to it--but now just take this step." And you know what--somehow--each day He gives me the strength to complete my goal.
In the Message Matthew 6:34 says, "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
I am thankful that God is using such a little thing as running to teach me such a powerful truth! There are times in our lives that will be difficult and how wise we will be if we can just focus on this moment and on His presence.
5 hours ago