Let us run the race set before us


If you knew me in my younger years, two things described me: running and babysitting.  Well, years of running wore on me in more ways than one (I have terrible legs thankyouverymuch to all those miles).  And it seems as if I am still babysitting.  My boss calls it teaching.

I have always hoped that my love for the torture sport would be passed down to one of my children.  Our oldest child, the Lad, never seemed overly excited about any sport, especially ones that required a lot of running.  Soccer was a chore to him.  I was pretty certain his dislike for running pretty much eliminated him from my “future runner” status. 

So it came as no small shock to me last week when I suggested to my oldest two that they join the school’s elementary track team – and they jumped at it!  They had their first practice on Thursday and their coach, so I was told, gave them homework over the weekend to jog 20 minutes per day.  So, bright and early this morning they were asking, “When can we go to the track?  Can we go now??  Is it time???”  So we headed out there around 10am in 51 degree weather.  I actually ran next to Little Miss on her bike as Daddy drove the other two.  My lungs were tired by the time I finished my sprint with Little Miss to the track 3/4 of a mile from our house.  Not only was I tired from actually running.  I was tired from running in fear.  Fear of repeating this

We made it safely.  (sigh)

As I walked onto the track and started running with the kids, my lungs filled with the cold air, my legs had that runner’s tingle, and my throat filled with junk.  I will spare you the details.  If you have ever spent any time running in cooler air, you know exactly what I am talking about.  All these gross little things took me back about 18 years ago when my life was all about running the race.  Well, not just running.  Winning.


In 1 Corinthians 9:24, the apostle Paul tells his readers bluntly: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.”  Running is a great test of endurance, determination, and stamina.  It is such a great parallel to the Christian walk.   There were times as I was running mile upon mile that I wanted to give up.  Oh, I wanted to STOP!  But I had something in me.  Some sort of drive that spurred me on.  I would love to say it was a spiritual thingy.  Sort of, kinda.   It was my commitment.  I had committed to compete and, by golly, I was going to give it my all.  And so I did.  Oh did I!  My coach would bless me out after EVERY race because I tended to “turn it on” at the end of each race.  He said I was not very smart to hold onto what I had until the very end.  I always thought he had a point but I also thought he was ignorant.  I won, didn’t I?  He never seemed to gripe at me for that.


I pray that my little ones will “run in such a way as to get the prize” – both on and off the track.  Today as I watched my little runners pant around that great big track, I started thinking about the verse that often encouraged me during those running days.  A verse that I truly held onto not only during those 2 or 3.1 mile races, but also at those times when I didn’t seem to fit in with my peers.  And those times when I was forced to make decisions that could either honor or displease God.  I will confess that the last two years of high school were the hardest but most growing times of my life.  Running was exactly what this hyper little skinny 17-year-old needed.  It was my time to pray.  Cuz you better believe you did not find me still long enough to be on my knees.  I ran and prayed.  It was simple.  And I am still convinced that those times out on the track or around my neighborhood taught me a thing or two.  They taught me to be still.  To be still in a totally opposite way than one would predict.  To have my heart and mind set on Him.  Having to depend on him for that next breath of fresh air or that stride that felt too hard to make.  

“Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ” Hebrews 12:1-2

I pray that my children run the race well.  It is a race worth winning!


One Comment

  1. Posted February 26, 2008 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    What a sweet post!!! Thank you so much for sharing…it’s amazing being a parent and the strong desires we have for our children.

    By the way, I absolutely loathe running, but after reading this I feel like taking a lap or 2 around the block. 🙂

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