Earlier this year I had decided that I was going to run the Chicago marathon. Not exactly a small feat for someone who'd never run more than 4 miles at a time. It ended up being eighteen weeks of training that completely changed my life. There's something to be said for the solitude that running provides, and I know that God has allowed it to be one of the many ways I get to experience His peace.

But the training wasn't all great. Of course in the heat of the summer, there were days when running was the last thing I wanted to do. There were days when I couldn't even go a mile without feeling like my legs were going to collapse under me. Days like this caused a lot of self-doubt and I would question if I could actually do this or not. As the weeks went by, I was getting more anxious and impatient and I just wanted the race to be here NOW, even though I knew I was not ready.

But how critical is the training to the race? Most people would not just say, "I'm going to run a marathon today!" and have it be a success. The weeks of training were the difficult part…the time management, maintaining my motivation, listening to what my body is telling me, allowing myself to rest. Although difficult many days, the training and preparation were essential…I would not have finished otherwise.

For a long time, I had the complete opposite attitude toward my spiritual life and my relationship with God. I used to wander through life with no real focus. I had always believed in God, and just thought that no matter what, He would always come through for me. And often times He did. But there was no real devotion on my part…I wasn’t willing to do the training, so to speak, that God was asking of me to get me where He wanted me. My heart wasn’t in it and the result was not good.

But now, I’m learning to treat my spiritual life as if I’m training for a marathon. Learning that it’s not enough to just be waiting for something big to happen in my life, but to be focused and preparing myself so that I‘m ready when God decides it‘s time. To be purposeful and intentional every day of my life. To follow the path He’s laying out for me and trust it’s taking me some where great, even when it feels like it’s taking forever. To run and not be weary…


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