I've been writing this blog post in my head for weeks now.
To start at the beginning takes me back to summer.
I led a bible study group through the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.
He talks about dreaming big dreams.
Dreams that are so big they require supernatural intervention to achieve.
I have always admired marathon runners and have often thought they must possess some sort of mind-over matter-true-grit-magic that few of us ever experience.
That would be a big dream.
I've always loved running, in fact, you may be interested to know that in my dreams, I'm like super-duper, crazy fast! I'm always running and no one can ever catch me. I've even jumped over buildings once! In my dreams I'm super awesome. Just sayin'. (perhaps I should explore why someone is always chasing me in my dreams. 😆)
BUT, coming back to reality, the problem is, I haven't ran in years...actually...decades to be exact.
So, I thought I would ease into it.
Take 10 months to train for the Memorial Marathon.
That should do it, I thought.
Actually, I have to back up in the timeline a bit to tell the full story. (Get comfortable, this story's a long one!)
I began in September 2015 going to the gym to get in shape.
After a month or so of going to classes 2-3 times per week, I found myself on the Stairmaster one minute, and on the ground the next!
I almost passed out, and made a big enough scene to alert the medical team at the YMCA.
Turns out nothing at all was wrong with me except the fact that I was so out of shape, 10 minutes on the Stairmaster was enough to do me in!!
Umm, can you say embarrassing!
So now, fast forward July of 2016.
I'm actually considering running a marathon.
Of course it will be 10 months away, a lot of training can take place in 10 months.
But then, I had a good friend who encouraged me to sign up for the Route 66 marathon, less than 5 months out.
I'll do the half, I thought.
Get my feet wet, and then run the full in the Memorial Marathon.
Good, solid plan!
But for some crazy reason, I began training with Oklahoma Landrunners and started out with the full marathoners running 8 miles in August.
After that run, I was encouraged to forget the half and go for the full.
Run the full, they said. It will be fun, they said!
Not that was a dream that scared me a little.
10 months ago I couldn't even handle 10 minutes of Stairmaster.
Now, I'm going to sign up to run 26.2 miles?
Yes! Mark Batterson would approve.
It was the perfect dream!
A dream so big it was beyond my own reach.
A dream that would require supernatural intervention.
I was excited for the spiritual journey ahead!!
I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I had no idea what kind of hard was ahead.
I expected there to be some obstacles, because anytime you set out to get closer to God, there will always be fiery arrows thrown.
Still, I wasn't prepared for the hardship.
I had some health issues come up.
It turns out your body does weird things when you ask it to go above and beyond.
It's like a rebellious teenager that flat out says, "NO" right to your face!
I visited my doctor and everything serious was ruled out.
I guess I'm just weird (yeah, the story of my life!)
With the OK from the doc to continue training and a prescription in hand, I struggled on.
And this is where the story gets interesting...
Why, oh why, do we as humans insist on trying to fix things all by ourselves?
Things weren't going my way, and so I pouted.
I had to stop my training for a while.
I worried and stewed and wondered if I could do this.
Perhaps I just needed the right goop, or energy drink, or gear.
Why couldn't I do this, I wondered?
And then one night, it's like Jesus finally hit me upside the head and said, FOCUS!
Remember your why.
Is this about your glory or Mine?
From that night on, my prayers changed.
No longer did I pray to take away the affliction, but instead work through it.
I had to believe that He had the power not just to take away the ailments, but to provide supernatural strength despite them.
I had to trust Him, rely on His strength and not my own, stupid weakness.
Everything changed from that moment on.
I ran with a lightness in my feet.
I felt strong and able.
It was still difficult, but I also felt Him with me each step of the way.
I began listening to the Bible App.
I started in Galatians and listened through Revelation.
Then, I listened to Matthew.
Next, I went to the Old Testament and listened to Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Isaiah.
The Words came alive.
Running early in the morning before the sun came up, listening to scripture for hours on end, was like a super-concentrated cleaner where a little goes a long way.
These scriptures stayed with me throughout the week and brought new, vivid colors into tired, old, everyday scenes!
I can't say I've ever experienced anything like it.
I discovered verses that really helped me carry on like:
Ecclesiastes 7:8 "Finishing is better than starting, Patience is better than pride."
And verses I had known, but found a new meaning like:
Isaiah 40:3 "but to those who hope in the Lord, they will soar on the wings of eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint."
Hebrews 12:1 "Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
1 Corinthians 9:27 "but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."
Run a marathon and you'll find out what you're made of.
I found I'm not worth much without my Best Friend, my True North, my Savior.
You want to know what gives marathon runners that mind-over matter-true-grit-kind-of-magic?
In my experience?
It's Jesus. 😊
Want to experience it for yourself?
Create a dream that scares you a little and see what happens!!
|aw man, blisters are the worst!|