So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around. 1 Corinthians 9:26
Several years ago I began choosing a word that would be my theme entering into a new year. In the last few months of 2019 I was praying about my word for 2020. Would it be “determination”? “Joy”? “Perseverance”? Several more encouraging words wandered through my mind but nothing really resonated. And then R-U-N came. I looked up at the Lord and said, “Really? Run?” I felt like He chuckled and just nodded His head, yes. “Okay, R-U-N it is!”
All kinds of images started “running” through my head…
First, there was the physical act of running. If you’ve ever read any of my weight loss stories you know my shock when my trainer/ coach told me I was going to run across a gym floor. I was at my heaviest weight, significantly out of shape, and hadn’t done any running since grade school. He knew what he was doing and that day I discovered I really could run! I did what I thought was impossible.
Next, came the thought of the flight or fight mechanism our bodies are equipped with. We either run away from danger or run straight towards a seemingly insurmountable challenge standing in our way.
Remember the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17? This “run” verse caught my attention….
Then when the Philistine rose and began to advance, drawing near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:48
Young David RAN quickly toward the battle line! That encourages me and scares me all at the same time. It breathes life into me yet sucks the air right out of me. I don’t know about you, but I want to run at the giants in my life. I don’t want to be forever hiding in the shadows or trembling and cowering in fear. My Abba, Father, says He has given me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. I can choose to receive His Word and my true identity as a victor or reject it and live a powerless life of victimhood.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
So…I’m lacing up my running shoes and I’m making decisions about what is most important to me in this life I am living.
~Who are the people I want to run with?
~Who are the people who want to run with me?
~What makes my heart sing with excitement and joy?
~What bears fruit in my life and the lives of others?
You and I were born at this time and this place for a divine purpose. Our stories are part of an Eternal Story. We are loved extravagantly and have been invited into the Story of Stories. The Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ, has given each of us a voice to tell our story. Your story matters and so does mine. Jesus was brutally crucified, arose from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father praying for you and for me, that in Him we may boldly tell our stories.
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives even in the face of death. Revelation 12:11
You see, Jesus, is the Author of my story. Because of His love for me, I have a beautiful story of healing and victory. How can I not tell my story?
In America we are not yet faced with the threat of losing our life for our faith in Jesus. Here there are other “deaths” we experience when we step out of the shadows and begin to tell our stories. We lose family members, friends, income, respect, reputation. But the passion we feel to tell our story of redemption and healing far outweighs the cost. Our higher calling is to give glory to the One who wrote our story with His blood.
I want to introduce you to two of my fellow runners who are boldly telling their stories. They are Davids who are running towards their giants with guts and faith.
Meet Kelsi Murray…she is wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend. Her husband, Jason, a Marine, was wounded in Iraq in 2004. She has started writing their journey of healing through her blog https://thetalkatthetable.blogspot.com. She writes with raw emotion and honesty and I have found her words to be refreshingingly powerful. I believe the world needs to hear their story and, even more, I believe she needs to tell it.
My next runner-friend is near and dear to my heart….he is my son, Casey. He is warrior husband and father, brother, and friend. He will challenge your religious mindsets and your preconceived ideas about Followers of Jesus. Buckle your seat belts! You can listen to his soul-cast, “AskDadAnything” https://soundcloud.com/user-360445014
I hope you will dig in the bottom of your closet for your tennies and run along with me this year because I would love to hear your story! I’ll run along side of you…we’ll walk a bit….run a bit. We’ll push our noodle-legs up hills and down hills. We’ll gasp for air and go farther than we ever thought we could.
But those who wait for Yahweh’s grace will experience divine strength. They will rise up on soaring wings and fly like eagles, run their race without growing weary, and walk through life without giving up. Isaiah 40:31