Welcome to August 😄. Today, your girl ticked off a major goal on my 2020 list: to train for and run a half marathon:
With COVID-19 causing my big race and many others to be cancelled, I ran the half-marathon distance today, after starting running in January. Looking forward to competing in a race soon.
Along the way, I learnt a few lessons that can be applied to life in general. I hope these encourage you.
3 LIFE LESSONS FROM A HALF MARATHON:
1. For those feeling like they have to ‘just keep running’.
I felt like this around March. It’s so important to remember that God desires us to live and work from a place of rest. Not burdens with cares and concerns. 1 Peter 5:7-14 says it all: ‘Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you’. He also tells us to cast our cares on Him because He cares so deeply for us. In Matthew 11:28-30, He says: ‘“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”’. My prayer is that you are able to let go of whatever you’re holding more tightly than God. And that you are able to rest, knowing He’s in control.
2. For those who feel they have ‘fallen’ too many times to be forgiven/for grace
I fell over during my run – tumbled forward as I was crossing a road. As I got up, dusted myself off and resumed running, albeit with a few grazes, it made me think of all how similar that is to real life. We’ll be running our race, and – BOOM – something unexpected hits us. Or maybe we fall or make a mistake. Maybe you’re at the point where you feel you’ve fallen too many times to get back up. Maybe you’re burnt out to the point that one more hit will exhaust you. I want to encourage you that God’s grace is inexhaustible. He is so generous and good, that His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Galatians 6:9 says, ‘9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ In this walk tenacity and resilience are key. And though we may fall, all that matters is that we get back up again, and persevere. Proverbs 24:16 says: “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again”. With God on our side, we have unlimited access to ‘getting back up again’. You can do it.
3. For those who are facing a task or obstacle that seems bigger than them (much of our perspective is mental).
21.1K (13.1 miles) still feels like a huge distance in my head. But because I’d trained for months before I ran it, while it wasn’t easy, my body doesn’t actually feel like it was as strenuous as I had visualised it would be. This reminded me that a lot of the time, the battle we’re facing is 90% in our minds. When David faced Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, he had already decided in his mind he would win. Check out how bawsy he was 😂:
26 Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes the disgrace [of his taunting] from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he has taunted and defied the armies of the living God?” 27 The men [j]told him, “That is what will be done for the man who kills him.” […]
41 The Philistine came and approached David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked around and saw David, he derided and disparaged him because he was [just] a young man, with a ruddy complexion, and a handsome appearance. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with [shepherd’s] staffs?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a [n]javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down
You have the Lord of Hosts on your side, as a child of God. The challenge you’re facing may look big, but is your mind and your perspective making it appear bigger? The devil loves using smoke and mirrors. You can overcome all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). Remember: your faith – even as small as a mustard seed – can move mountains. But a negative perspective or doubts can create them. Here is a great sermon on this topic.
I hope this has encouraged you. All these lessons came from today’s half-marathon run, and I can strongly relate to no.1 and 3, as I felt those at points earlier this year.
See you in September, when I’ll be sharing our ISLA Scholarship winners. 😄
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