I hate running. Why run when you can drive? Why run with no purpose? I understand running when you want to dunk on somebody. I understand running when you want to hit somebody. But why run with no purpose? After all I live in Texas with our Texas-sized trucks with airconditioners that would cool the North Pole.
That being said, I just got back from a four mile run, and the first one where I've run four miles in under 36 minutes. You see, I am training for a half marathon, something that I never thought I would do nor have the capability to do. I still am not fond of running, but I find that I am learning quite a bit about myself, my relationship with God, and God's spirit working in me. Running the half marathon is a daunting challenge for me, especially since I am still struggling with four and five mile runs. But what I am realizing is that I have had the capability all along to do it, but I have not had the right practice or properly used my body to do it.
Living the way of Jesus is a daunting challenge. How do you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you? How do you daily take the cross, an instrument of death? You lose your life to save it? How does that work? How do I do God's work in the world? What I am discovering is that God has given us the ability through his grace and the Holy Spirit to do his work. I have to respond by doing the practices that allow God's grace to work in my life. So times of silence, prayer, Bible study, worship, and service all have a new meaning for me. Paul says it like this: Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:12-13).