Run with Perseverance
I love to exercise. Within my neighborhood, there is a community trail which on any given day you can find adults and children walking, running, and riding bikes. The trail provides an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility from the hustle and bustle of life. A peaceful view, occasional spectators, and a place to reflect are all accessible on the trail.
One beautiful, sunny day as I was walking and talking to God on the trail, He interrupted my conversation to give me a profound revelation that I had to stop and record my thoughts. But before I share my revelation, I need to give you some background information about how I run on the trail. As I exercise, I do something called intermit running. Intermit running is when you run for a certain period of time then walk for a short minute, but you run again so that your heart rate goes up and down throughout your exercise routine. I learned that using this style of running helps with fluctuating my metabolism instead of keeping it at a steady pace. So, to do this I set markers as I run by using trees, rocks, or bridges to gage how far I have run before I stop to walk.
Now, on the trail there are three bridges and the first bridge is about a quarter of a mile from the trail entrance and each subsequent bridge is less than half a mile apart. As I run on the trail, I’m not able to see each bridge just the path in front of me, so I use the trees and large rocks as markers. While running my heart begins to beat faster and faster, the panting of my breath gets stronger, and my legs get tired. Exhaustion and fatigue consume my body but as I set my thoughts to the marker I’m able to keep pressing forward.
To distract myself from the feeling of fatigue, I close my eyes for a moment gazing up at the sun and blue sky. I enjoy my surroundings by waving to the people, looking at the trees, and noticing the various animals and insects. As I get closer to my marker, the view of the trees begin to open and I hear the sound of running water. At last the bridge is in sight. Even though I am tired, I pick up the pace and encourage myself “you can do it, you can reach your goal.”
So, what was my revelation? What did God teach me that day?
I learned that the method I was using to meet my running goal did not differ from developing my spiritual maturity. The goals I set to persevere through each milestone of running can also support my Christian walk. When I spend intimate time with God praying for guidance and direction, I must also “wait” on God to answer those prayers. In my waiting, I must plan, prepare and persevere. The marker of life is establishing one goal at a time and seeking to accomplish it. Regardless of life’s test or trials, you must persevere because through perseverance comes growth and development. We have to continue to trust in God and remember past blessings to fuel us just as when I’m running on the trail and fatigue sets in. Instead of anticipating the bridge, I set small milestones with the trees and rocks. With life we need to do the same thing, focus on what God has done and the surrounding blessings to continue moving forward.
Our trials and test are not the time to give in or turn around. We must stand firm on God’s Word, remember the desires He placed in your heart (Psalm 37:4 NIV), and continue to praise Him by reading His Word and staying in His presence.
Paul reminds us in scripture to run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12: 1 NIV). This means don’t back down or give up but keep pressing forward!
Do you know my friends if we don’t endure the test, we won’t have a testimony! We can’t bring glory to God and have success unless we choose to succeed! As mortal beings, we can’t escape weariness or fatigue. We all become tired and weary, but with determination and perseverance, we can get through the pain achieving our goals and maturing.
Along with exercising, I have come to appreciate the results that benefit my health and well-being. My exercise regimen builds an obedient, discipline character, which is also necessary for our spiritual maturity. The Bible tells us we must worship God in spirit and truth (John 4: 24 NIV). Our relationship is two-fold, the unseen experience with the presence of God and a tangible experience with His Word, which are both necessary for inward results that influence outward character.
So, as I mentioned before, I love to exercise and I love running on the trail. But, most importantly, I love when God interrupts what I perceive as routine to give me spiritual wisdom. And, spiritual wisdom will not only promote balance in your life but also help you persevere.
Be blessed in the precious name of Jesus Christ~ Amen