I’m trying to train for a 5K. I’m having decent luck with it. But I’ve started to hear voices. Voices such as:
- “You can’t do this Jayme. What makes you think that this is the time you’ll actually get to a 5K?”
- “Do you see how hard you’re breathing? You should stop now.”
- “I bet you’re only doing a 15-minute mile. People can hop faster than you can run.”
- “What are you going to do come winter when it’s really cold? Might as well quit now.”
- “What’s an extra 10 pounds anyway? Who cares?! You’re already married.”
- “You don’t really get THAT many health benefits from running 3 times a week.”
Those are the voices I hear. Little demons whispering in my ear, telling me to quit. But I won’t. I can’t. Now running has become a much bigger thing than a 5K or a healthy habit. It’s even bigger than accomplishing a goal. Somewhere along the line, it has turned into a spiritual battle. It has turned into an area of my life that I will not let Satan win. Let’s be honest: Satan doesn’t really care about the running. He just wants to knock me down and steal my joy and my health. And let’s also be honest: God loves me just the same if I never go running or if I gain all 140 pounds back. I’m still accepted by Him. But at the same time, God wants me to be healthy and to take care of this body he’s given me. He always wants me to enjoy what I can in this life. And above all: He wants to be glorified. And so, in this, in this running, it’s given me an opportunity to glorify God by defeating Satan and not listening to the whispers.
Even if it takes me a year of training and huffing and puffing, I will continue.
“You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It’s hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape – especially if you’ve got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you’re dinner’s burnt. Maybe you haven’t got a job. So who am I to say, “Believe, have faith,” in the face of life’s realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.” – Eric Liddell, in Chariots of Fire