A Reason to Run

by Joanna Pierce on June 27, 2018

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fair-weather runner. I really don’t like running, but it’s good exercise. It’s just hard to enjoy when I’m focused on my pounding heart, dripping sweat, and the inability to breathe. If I’m to have any success at all, or run for any period of time, I need to secure adequate distractions.

Indoors, I’ll watch a YouTube video or read something on my iPad. Outdoors, I try to listen to conference seminars or preaching. But, even with words echoing in my ears, the road in front of me can seem a little endless. A never-ending road is a worse diversion, and if acknowledged, the exercise attempt will be abandoned altogether.

So, I try to keep my eyes off the road and on the scenery around me. Every once in a while, I get engrossed by the sights while running, which can be a good and a bad thing. If I’m really distracted, I’ll run for an hour and a half and not have a clue. But, some distractions can bring me to an utter stopping point.

If it’s a pretty house, I won’t stop, but might run a little slower to take in the vivid architectural detail. But, if I’ve spotted an animal or reptile of some kind, running halts immediately. I have to check out the wildlife for an undetermined amount of time. Personally, I’m not running to get anywhere in particular, although I like to make good time. But, once I’ve stopped, I’ve for sure messed up my running-time-to-distance ratio, and I’m not making any attempt to correct the pace.

This is why I don’t have a running partner, won’t ever run in a race, and probably why I shouldn’t ever try to run in a zoo.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain (I Corinthians 9:24, KJV).

Hopefully, your running routine doesn’t look like mine—but, kudos to you if you run. However, we better be on the same page when it comes to running in our spiritual life.

Paul admonishes the church to run a spiritual race. First of all, if I ever meet Paul in heaven, I’m going to have a chat with him about this running thing. But, he shares a critical truth. We must run our spiritual race to obtain a prize: making it to heaven. If I’m going to argue with him at all about this analogy, I’ve got to run now, and I must run with purpose.

Being distracted while running physically doesn’t always work out in my best interest. It can make me slow down, get off pace, or stop altogether. When we’re running in the race for our salvation, we can’t get sidetracked. We must keep our eyes on the road in front of us and not look at the world around us. If we do, we’ll easily get distracted by what’s going on, could possibly walk down the wrong paths, or worse—stop living for God, and not make heaven altogether.

If I’m going to have a successful run, I need to pick the right environment (inside), listen to or read the right things to keep me focused, pick a pace, determine my destination, and stick to it. When we run our spiritual race, we need to be in the right environment, surround ourselves with the right people to edify and encourage us, read the Word, set our eyes heavenward, and make up our mind that we’re going to live for God no matter what.

If you’re not a runner, there’s couch-to-5K programs. Anybody can do it and you can start today. If you’re not a spiritual runner, God, His Word, the church body, and five-fold ministry are available. Salvation is for all, and you can start on your journey today. Need a little help staying on course? You can utilize the same tools beginners use. There are tons of us in the race to win, but we all could use a little support too. Become a runner and embark on your race today. Run that you may obtain.